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Credit report errors can devastate credit scores, P. 2

In the last post, this blog began a discussion of a unique problem in the credit reporting system in this country that can cause devastating affects upon a consumer in our plastic driven society-the problem involves mixed-file credit histories, where a consumer's file is erroneously merged with another by the credit reporting agencies.

Many credit restoration issues involve more subtle mistakes that need to be removed from a credit report. In the more drastic cases of merged identity, a consumer with no past credit issues may be merged with a consumer who has suffered severe credit problems, devastating the former consumer's ability to obtain credit.

The credit reporting system has specific rules on what information can be included in a credit report. Creditors and the reporting agencies are required to only report accurate credit information and investigate disputed information. But a number of consumers fall into the group of people who have an odd kind of mistaken identity-those whose credit history has been mistakenly merged with another person.

In 2004, the Federal Trade Commission reportedly decided that imposing tighter standards on the matching criteria for the credit industry might adversely impact lenders' interests. Mismatched credit information can be devastating for consumers.

Mixed-file credit history issues can be devastating for a consumer. The Columbus Dispatch recently recounted the story of a nurse from northern Ohio whose credit history got mixed with a woman from Utah who had bad credit. The Ohio woman did not know that her credit history had been merged with the Utah woman, but the Ohio woman suffered a series of credit and loan rejections. She received calls from Utah, requesting payments for debts that were not hers.

Eventually, the Ohio woman sought legal representation and was apparently able to resolve the credit history issue. That resolution came after years of unjust issues in dealing with lenders and bill collectors.

In most cases, errors in credit reports are not founded on merged credit files, but are plain errors in reporting, or issues involving old data that should no longer be included in a credit report. Ohio residents who believe that they are not being treated fairly due to mistakes in a credit report should consider speaking with an experienced Cincinnati credit restoration lawyer to learn what options may be available.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Credit Scars: Mixed and marred," Mike Wagner and Jill Riepenhoff, May 7, 2012

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