The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) aims to regulate the dispute processes between consumers and credit bureaus, like Experian. The FCRA prescribes a time frame of 30 days for credit bureaus to conduct the necessary investigations. Failure to adhere to this timeframe may expose the credit bureaus to potential legal liability.
What If It Has Been Longer Than 30 Days Since Your Dispute Was Sent?
Once your dispute has been received, Experian has 30 days to investigate your dispute and verify the accuracy of the information being disputed. Based on their findings Experian will have one of three potential actions to consider, either:
- Correct the disputed information verified as incorrect.
- Delete the disputed item from your credit report if it can’t be validated by Experian.
- Experian certifies that the information is accurately reported according to the FCRA requirements, the account will remain unchanged.
If you do not receive an update in writing to indicate one of the above actions has taken place within the 30 day time frame. You are then permitted to initiate a lawsuit against Experian for their failure to adhere to the dispute procedure prescribed by the FCRA.
The investigation period can be extended to 45 days only if the consumer submits additional information during the investigation process. This is the only way the investigation process may be extended beyond the 30 day requirement.
How Disputing Impacts Credit Scores?
Filing a dispute will have no direct impact on your credit scores. Dispute letters will only impact your credit score pending the investigation results, which determine the final outcome.
The type of information being disputed will determine the potential impact on your credit score. Disputes on information like late payments, would positively impact your credit score if confirmed as inaccurate, or can’t be validated. Unlike late payment disputes, a dispute of information relating to your personal details won’t have an impact on your credit score regardless of the outcome.
The FCRA prescribes a maximum turnaround time frame of 30 days. If Experian fails to adhere to the correct procedure, the FCRA empowers you to initiate a lawsuit. In a scenario like this, consulting a knowledgeable attorney will allow you to explore your options to recover fair compensation from Experian.