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Credit report company has carelessly ruined my credit

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Oklahoma...I decided to apply over the phone for a credit card from an application I received in the mail. I called them up, they took the information, I was then transferred to a person in their credit department. The next thing I was told floored me!!

The lady said "we can't issue you a credit card because you have a delinquency on your Sears and Zales accounts". I thought man, I don't have a Sears charge account!! I never have had one, and I don't have a Zales account either!!

I then called Sears credit. I gave them my SS# and they showed nothing. I didn't exist in their system.

I hung up and went to "Experian's" (credit report company) web site. I managed to open up my personal credit report and then I was really shocked!! There was another persons name added to my report! I don't have a clue who this person is but his social security number is "one" digit off from mine. The report also had 5 different addresses listed for this person. I looked the report over, there was 25 positive reports (all mine) and 11 negative reports (all his). He owed Sears around 3 thousand dollars and SW Bell over 5 thousand dollars just to name a few.

I called "Experian" and talked to a lady in their "special situations" division. She was very rude, I finally got mad and so she hung up on me. I called back and talked to a different "rude" lady. She told me that me and this other person had a 1 digit difference in our SS# and that was how they got combined. She would never actually take responsibility for the error but she didn't have any problem telling me it would take between 30 - 60 days to have it fixed.

She said the other persons name would be removed within 72 hours. I then asked why this persons bad credit wouldn't be removed along with him?? She told me they can't remove it and I would have to dispute all 11 of them and wait for a response from the creditors. Otherwise they can add somebody's negative report to mine but they can't remove it!!!

I then went to "Trans Union and Equifax's" web sites to check my credit report at them as well. Trans Union does not have their web site setup so you can view your credit report so I should receive their's via mail in about 1 to 2 weeks. I was able to view my credit report at Equifax's web site and the other person's report was not part of mine. If trans Union's report does not show it either then this was solely Experian's screw up.

I shouldn't have to wait 30 to 60 days for them to fix their mistake. They could call all 11 of the creditors and have this thing fixed in about 2 hours. But instead they choose to be rude and not one bit helpful.

My questions: Is there anything I can do legally to accelerate their actions? Or am I at their mercy? I feel my rights have been violated and they act like they don't care. Can a person sue them over this?

Thank you for any help one can give.


Senior Member
You are at their mercy. Any legal process that you might consider would take longer than the 30-60 day time that they require to do a proper investigation and to correct the report. You have to understand, the CRA's handle millions of records each year and very probably receive almost that many "What, my history file isn't correct! Fix it NOW!!" complaints. And, naturally, they can't just go around 'adjusting' peoples history files without some sytem in place. So, now your next step....

First, read the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) at the FTC website (http://www.ftc.gov/)
You will see what your rights are, and that you have to dispute any 'errors' in writing and to allow them time to investigate and correct.

Another good reason why EVERYONE should review their credit history files occasionally from all THREE CRA's.


In case you're interested, visit this website: http://www.troubleshooter.com. It is run by a consumer advocate named Tom Martino. He is organizing a class action suit of enormous proportions against the credit reporting agencies to have them regulated much more stringently. Credit reporting agencies have MUCH too much power over our lives to be so mis-informed and uncaring about errors on our credit profiles. The biggest problem is that we are always considered guilty and treated as such until we prove ourselves innocent and that process is ridiculously slow.
As it stands now there is really no law or governing body that will expediate the process or prove your case for you. You can become familiar with your rights, however that will simply make you a frustrated AND informed deadbeat (according to them)until you prove differently by their rules. When they finally do come around to striking erroneous information from your credit report, they don't even have the decency to apoligize for treating you like a second class citizen. They have too much power over our lives and virtually no accountability for their actions.


[Edited by Jeter on 06-16-2001 at 10:08 PM]

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