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Fair Credit Reporting Act

The FCRA requires Credit Reporting Agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, among others) to maintain the maximum possible accuracy of information stored on consumer credit reports.

Healthy and accurate credit reporting is extremely important to Servicemembers because credit reports are used to grant security clearances. In today's military, nearly every Servicemember requires a security clearance of some sort. Bad credit can result in loss of security clearance, which can result in adverse employment action. 

Credit reports are used for many other purposes like: Granting credit, vetting job applicants, and determining insurance rates. A lower credit score or inaccurate credit information will eventually lead to paying higher interest rates, higher insurance rates, and may even cost you your dream job.

Despite the FCRA requiring credit bureaus to maintain the maximum possible accuracy, studies have shown that the majority of consumers have inaccurate credit information contained in their credit files.

To help ensure the maximum possible accuracy, the FCRA provides consumers with the right to obtain a free credit report, dispute inaccurate credit information, and request that the credit bureaus re-investigate erroneous credit information.  

When a consumer disputes inaccurate credit information, the credit bureaus have a duty to conduct a "reasonable re-investigation" to determine whether the information is accurate. In many instances, credit bureaus violate the FCRA by failing to conduct a reasonable re-investigation in response to consumer disputes. The most common credit reporting mistakes include: 1) Mixed credit files (another consumer's information is appearing on you credit report); 2) Reporting accounts as "past due" or "defaulted" when all payments were made on time; 3) Showing that a paid debt has a balance still owing; and 4) Reporting the same derogatory account information in several different accounts simultaneously. 

FCRA Successes:

Equifax Sends Strangers Credit Reports to an Air Force Veteran

Equifax mailed credit reports belonging to at least 18 people to Carl Parks. Equifax also mailed Carl Parks over a hundred pages of credit accounts belonging to other unnamed and unidentified individuals. The accounts at issue involved bankruptcies, collection accounts, student loan debt, and other past due credit accounts. All tolled, the debts amounted to over a half million dollars, none of which belonged to Mr. Parks. The law offices of Robert Mitchell, Attorney at Law, and SaraEllen Hutchison, Attorney at Law, filed a lawsuit against Equifax, on behalf of Carl Parks. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Washington.  The lawsuit has been described by at least two news outlets:

One of the individuals who had her information released was a 13 year old girl.  Equifax mailed the girl's full address, name, social security number, and date of birth to Carl Parks, a complete stranger.

 Robert Mitchell, Attorney at Law, PLLC, has successfully represented consumers in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) cases.  If you believe you have fallen victim to a credit reporting error, please telephone me today at

 509-327-2224 or 360-993-5000, or email me at


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Robert Mitchell Attorney at Law

1020 N. Washington Spokane, WA 99201 or 700 W. Evergreen Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98660

Spokane Office: (509) 327-2224 Vancouver Office: (360) 993-5000 Fax: (888) 840-6003



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