No. of Recommendations: 3

I think part of the problem is a large portion of the population still never checks their credit report. They either just assume they have good credit until told otherwise - or they *know* they've been delinquent and just assume the reason they can't get credit is their own fault. Of course I'm just generalizing - my only evidence to support such an assertion is anecdata - but it would help explain why the number is so high.

Another point is that a credit report actually tends to consist of hundreds of detail reports on dozens of individual trade lines. Yet it only takes one derogatory trade line to ruin an individual's credit.

You wrote, I agree they need to find a better balance on correcting these things. It can't be so easy that anybody can call and change these without documentation or give compan8ies the only say in them - as both parties have motive to lie about who owes who. There should be some way of independently establishing debt.

A better balance might be for more people to just sue them rather than sit back and accept it. Section 15 USC § 1681n - Civil liability for willful noncompliance of the FCRA allows a plaintiff to recover all costs and reasonable attorney's fees along with statutory, plus actual, plus punitive damages. This potentially is a better outcome than if you were suing for liable. If you have a *clear* case of the CRAs ignoring the evidence, you shouldn't hesitate to sue ... unless of course the reported error just isn't material enough to affect your credit. If it costs them enough, they'd change.

Of course part of the problem is that people with poor credit often lack the resources to fight a protracted legal battle on their own dime. So if anything needs to be done, it's probably that some group or agency needs to organize a group of law firms that take on the worst of such cases with little or no up-front financial commitment by the client.

Along the same line, it would be nice if the FTC would sue or could fine them for such mistakes. Or maybe Congress needs to expand the CFPB's mission to go after CRAs for systemic violations, since it appears the FTC has little real interest in it.

BTW, there are still errors on my own report(s) - so I'm technically one of the 20%. As of 6 months ago, I had no material errors; but the agencies insist on reporting prior addresses that were never mine.

One is the address of a bank. In that case I had had the bank deliver all of my mail to a local branch because I had documented the theft of mail from my mailbox. The bank itself did not report the address; but they had out-sourced the servicing of my credit card account to Citibank and they insist I lived there. The other address is my ex mother-in-law's. That's the address my ex forwarded her mail to when she left. Unfortunately the tax district forwarded my mail there too and while I eventually got them to change it back, the CRAs insist her address is now a prior of mine.

Actually once reported, I suspect the CRAs don't have a method of correcting this type of error. I've found no evidence that they actually re-query the creditor - even after I figure out who reported it and contact the creditor. I used to get really upset over it; but I've realized it only affects their stupid online identity verification services and doesn't actually lower my score. So as long as I kind of remember these addresses, I can pass the identity verification tests - even though the "correct" answers are lies.

- Joel
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