The Fair Credit Reporting Act states
that credit bureaus can refuse to investigate consumer disputes which
they perceive as "frivolous and irrelevant." It is completely at the discretion
of the bureaus as to what qualifies for this type of rejection. The only
possible recourse would be to attempt to prove bad faith or negligence
in court, which could be extremely difficult, especially in an individual
They will probably consider:
Frequency of disputes - In the past (especially before the
Credit Repair Organizations Act), some credit repair companies would flood the
bureaus with numerous disputes simultaneously, hoping that one would slip through
the 30-day time limit for a response. Even disputing twice within 3-6 months
could be risky.
Repeated disputes on the same item - Trans Union specifically
indicates "Date Verified" on consumer disclosure copies of credit reports. So
when they pull your file in upon receiving your dispute letter, they may see
this and respond with, "We will not investigate this item because it has been
previously disputed and confirmed." Experian and Equifax may have internal notations
that they don't show you. Also, if you have been rejected like this on one or
two items, then they may be suspicious of all further disputes from you.
Number of items - The more items you dispute, the more suspicious
it seems. Unless your file has been accidentally merged with someone else's,
it seems very unlikely that five or ten unrelated derogatory
items would appear in your file by mistake.
The ratio of good to bad items on the entire report - Even
if you are only disputing a couple of items at a time, you will have reduced
credibility if your report is generally full of derogatories.
The tone of your letter - Is it polite, sincerely asking
for help in the correction of a mistake, or is it angry, making demands and
attacking the bureau and credit reporting in general? Does it sound like someone
who isn't very smart, doesn't know their rights, and can be brushed off, or
someone who is intelligent enough to complain to the FTC or file a lawsuit?
Is the letter too slick, like the consumer has done this before? Does
it appear to have been individually composed, or does it seem like a form letter?
There may be other criteria, but only the credit bureaus know
Consider these factors carefully, because if the credit bureaus
internally red-flag your file with, "This person is attempting credit repair,"
then this will place a major obstacle before you, even if you cannot directly
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