Many people do not know what is on their credit or background screening reports until they are denied credit, housing, or denied other service based on a credit report. (If you have been denied for employment based on a background screening report, click here for more information).
Creditors such as banks, credit card companies and auto dealers usually make a credit decision based on information received from Equifax, Experian and/or Trans Union. Landlords and property managers usually determine whether to rent to you based on a criminal background report, but may also request your credit report to determine whether you should be required to pay a security deposit or the amount of the deposit.
We have represented many consumers that were denied credit or had their existing credit line reduced or closed after being told by the lender that their credit report contained a collection account or other negative item that the consumer had no idea about and did not belong to them. We have also represented consumers who were denied housing based on an inaccurate criminal background report saying they committed and/or were convicted of crimes they were never involved in.
If you have been denied credit or housing you should receive an adverse action notice (i.e., denial letter). This notice should tell you the reasons for the denial, provide you with your credit score (if your score was used to determine eligibility), and notify you of the CRA or background screening company that provided your report to the creditor or property manager/landlord.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit or background screening report from the CRA that prepared your report if you request your report within 60 days after receipt of the adverse action notice. If you are denied credit or housing, you should request your report within this 60 day period. After receiving your report, you should start the review and dispute process. The CRA or background screening company must conduct a reinvestigation and send you results to your dispute.
If you have been denied credit, your existing credit line was reduced or closed, or you were denied housing, please contact us for a free consultation.