A young woman attempted to submit a payment from her Sprint account with a check and it was rejected. Although she received a receipt and a valid seven-digit phone number, it was an automated call and left her even more frustrated and confused than before. After calling a second time, the woman finally made it to the option that states ‘pay for delinquent fee’, at which time a representative came on the line.
The representative stated there were two charges on her account, one charge was for Best Buy and the other was to Lowes for more than $500 dollars. The latter charge transacted back in 2007. The woman has no knowledge or memory of such charge. In an effort to figure it out, the woman retrieved her bank records that correspond to the time the charge was made and could not find it anywhere. At this point, she not only does not know what to do or who to turn to for help, but now she is worried about her credit rating.
Similar to the three main credit bureaus, Telecheck is also a consumer-based reporting agency. It is your legal right to review your Telecheck Report in addition to challenging obsolete and incorrect information contained within it. If you are uneasy divulging your financial and personal data to Telecheck via your phone, interact with them using written statements subsequent to receiving your Telecheck report.
Request a Telecheck Report
Once a year, you are entitled to receive a Telecheck report at no charge following the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This additionally consists of other consumer reporting agencies like Transunion, Equifax, Experian, and Chexsystems. Telecheck is regarded as a consumer-reporting agency since they officially collect, store, and sell consumer information.
Telecheck requires the following data in order to validate your identity as stated by their website.
– Social Security Number
– Driver’s License (copy)
– Voided Check
– Copy of a utility or tax bill to verify your present address
– Daytime phone number
Never offer any unnecessary personal information in order to authenticate your identity. A voided check is your personal banking information and is privy to you, together with any phone number or who your work for. Click here to get your Telecheck report.
The only information they may actually need and is essential to provide is:
– Your name and current address
– Your previous address if you’ve recently moved
– Driver’s License Number
– Social Security Number
Dispute the Listed Information
As soon as you receive your report, you will find all the information listed that is relative to your remaining debt. If you have no idea what the debt pertains to or any memory of it, it is your right to dispute it. This could be a mistake or irrelevant data that does not apply to you at all. However, it could unfortunately be the result of identity theft.
Initiate an Investigation
Once you decide to challenge or dispute the data, an investigation will commence; and Telecheck is responsible for corroborating the information as correct in just 30 days from that time. Although, if you obtain the free Telecheck report that’s under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the investigation period increases to 45 days.
Investigation Results: How the process works
– Telecheck may confirm that the information is accurate from the company that originally reported you. If this is the case, the information stays on your report.
– Telecheck may not be able to verify the disputed data; therefore, the data is required to be deleted.
– If the information you challenged is confirmed as being accurate, you have an opportunity to send them a letter and request their method of verification. As soon as your request is received, Telecheck is required to divulge how they validated the information as accurate and true. Telecheck has 15 days to submit to you the address and phone number of the company they communicated with to prove the information is indeed accurate. At that point, you may directly challenge the company that provided the questionable information to Telecheck.
Data can remain for as long as 7 years in Telecheck’s system. Even if the debt is still outstanding after 7 years, Telecheck must delete it. Moreover, if you pay the outstanding debt, Telecheck will delete the adverse data from your files.
How to Request Method of Verification for Verified Disputes
In such cases where credit-reporting agencies do not thoroughly follow the FCRA Rules or guidelines when investigating credit disputes, consumers are entitled to demand their verification method.
The procedure of managing credit disputes is parallel amid the three main credit-reporting agencies. They all utilize a computer program online for a reinvestigation method referred to as E-Oscar.
The E-Oscar process of investigation has allowed the entire system for credit reporting agencies to be automated. Despite the fact that you may have sent them a written dispute along with documentation for support, every credit dispute they receive whether it’s by telephone, via online, or written; is condensed down to a simple two-digit code.
In keeping with the FCRA rules, the credit reporting agencies must forward the dispute data to the original creditor of the account. However, according to the agencies’ automated E-Oscar system, they only send the two-digit code.
How the Process Works
If you receive a reply from a credit reporting agency stating your dispute was verified, you have the legal right to demand their method of verification according to the FCRA, Section 611 (a)(6) and (7). The credit-reporting agency has just 15 days to submit to you their method of verification data.
The method of verification is an effective and powerful means to challenge the credit reporting agencies. Unfortunately, you may need to warn them you intend to file a lawsuit against them if they decline to adequately honor your demand for method of verification. Don’t get too concerned or anxious, the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) is on your side.
The Demand for Method of Verification (long version)
– Submit a letter of dispute, together with any proof or supporting documentation to the credit-reporting agency disputing the negative item in question. Submit the letter of dispute by certified mail, return receipt; because if you do not receive the anticipated outcome you are looking for, you may need to submit the information in a court of law.
– In the event that the credit-reporting agency verifies the dispute, contact them using the number that is listed on the report you just received from them. As you are talking with the customer representative, tell them your report number and demand the method of verification. If the representative is feigning ignorance or naiveness regarding the method of verification, recite to them FCRA, Section 611 (a)(6) and (7).
– In all probability, the credit-reporting agency never even contacted the original creditor in the first place. They may have utilized a third-party database to verify the negative item, which is completely unacceptable. Don’t be afraid to demand hard evidence including the name, address, and number of the person they contacted from the original creditor. Chances are they will be unable to give you the information you are requesting.
– Try to get in touch with the original creditor if possible to ask for the records or documentation they used to validate the negative credit item. By now, you will likely need to speak with someone with more authority like a manager or supervisor. If they are unable to provide any records or plausible information concerning the negative item, obtain their name and direct phone number. However, if they do have the documentation or records to support the item in question, you have the right to demand a copy under the FACT Act.
– If you receive any records or documentation, look them over and decide if they adequately support the credit reporting agencies’ records. Continue with the next steps if the records are missing or inadequate.
– Contact the credit-reporting agency and tell them the original creditor is devoid of any records or has inadequate records and take the next steps:
- Demand a new dispute centered on the person’s name and number you talked with when you contacted the original creditor.
- If the credit reporting agency declines to start a new dispute, proceed to tell them you will sue them for willful non-compliance under FCRA, Section 616; and back-up your threat with a letter of request for a new dispute, together with your supporting records including an intent to file a lawsuit.
- Maintain your records pertaining to the new confirmation number, the person you interacted with at the credit-reporting agency, and the date if they do honor your request for a new dispute. Since this is a new dispute, the credit-reporting agency has only 30 days to set forth a genuine investigation.
Once the 30 days has ended, the credit-reporting agency will forward you the new investigation results. If the negative credit item is still there, you are going to have to play hardball with them. Send them a certified letter, return receipt claiming an “Intent to Sue” letter and allow them a mere 10 days to acknowledge it. After 10 days has passed, contact a consumer law attorney or proceed to file your lawsuit in a small claims court. NACA.net contains a huge database of consumer law attorneys from coast-to-coast who are all enormously acquainted with FCRA infringements.
The Demand for Method of Verification (short version)
Ask for the credit-reporting agencies to forward you the following information –
– Creditor’s name
– Name of the person they validated the dispute with including their….
– Address, phone number, and supporting documentation used to validate the dispute.
The credit-reporting agency is required to respond in 15 days or less and give you the information you requested. However, if they ignore your request, they are defying the FCRA guidelines and you have the right to sue them, or at the very least, threaten to file a lawsuit in an attempt to remove the negative credit listing.