Last Week on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the credit reporting industry in a segment that consumer lawyers only wish they could play for a jury. In an explicit mix of humor and outrage, John Oliver exposed 60 years of credit bureau apathy toward American’s ability to obtain housing, employment, insurance, and transportation. John Oliver highlighted news stories over the past 60 years which cited 25-33% of credit reports contained errors. Complacency in the credit reporting industry is nothing new. However, their audacity reached new heights when they celebrated that credit reporting errors “only affected” 10 million Americans. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires consumer reporting agencies to implement policies assuring maximum possible accuracy. Thus, it is hard to see success in such a widespread failure.
In addition to the general unreliability of credit reports, John Oliver highlighted the many absurdities consumers must navigate to protect their history. For example . . . Want to prove you aren’t dead? Good luck, dead people cannot obtain copies of their credit reports. Credit bureau have you mistaken for someone else? Maybe it is you who are mistaken. Wondering what evidence there is that your credit report is relevant to your ability to do your job? None, but that doesn’t stop credit bureaus from marketing credit reports to employers for that purpose.
You can obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year from Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax through annualcreditreport.com. If you happen to be among the 25% of Americans with inaccurate information in your credit report, you can dispute it through annualcreditreport.com and the credit bureaus. They will have 30 days to investigate your dispute and correct any inaccurate information. When they fail to do so, contact a consumer protection attorney with experience handling FCRA claims.
The consumer protection attorneys at Maginnis Howard regularly handle FCRA claims on a contingency fee basis. We provide free consultations for consumer cases. Send us a message through our contact page or call us (919) 526-0450 to get started.