SaraEllen Hutchison, Seattle Tacoma consumer protection lawyer, fair credit reporting act attorney, mixed credit files, identity theft, credit report errors, someone else's name on my credit report, someone else's ssn on my credit report, data breach

Is Equifax, Experian or Trans Union reporting false information on your credit report?

21st-century legal problems require cutting-edge solutions.


We live in an information age where reputation and accuracy are everything. You are good at your job, and you’ve earned a good living and a good reputation. You’re frustrated and worried that some big computer that doesn’t have the same high standards you have has messed up your credit.


You’ve probably heard of the “big three” credit reporting agencies, aka “credit bureaus,” Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.


These companies keep computer files on millions of Americans, but as you have likely seen in the news, they often do not manage your private financial data with the same care you do.


Big data can cause big problems — like a mixed file, data breach, identity theft, ignored disputes, and false credit reporting.


Perhaps you tried to buy a house or a car and you found that your credit report is littered with other people’s accounts, someone else’s name, or someone else’s social security number. Perhaps there is debt on your credit report that is not yours. Perhaps you were a victim of a data breach or identity theft, and can’t get it off your credit. Or, perhaps the negative account was yours, and you already paid it but it never got updated properly. It’s now reported wrong and is killing your credit.


Perhaps you’ve disputed the error online or via certified mail multiple times, or went to a so-called “credit repair” business to help you — and were disappointed.


“Credit repair” is the last thing you need if you have good credit and the problems with your credit report are truly not your fault.


“Credit repair” is usually a ripoff; if the thing on your credit report is false, you should not pay someone else to write your disputes. You can (and should) do it yourself for the cost of a piece of certified mail.


In any event, you’re reading this because there’s something horribly inaccurate with your credit report, the information on there is objectively false, and you’re tired of going in circles with Equifax, Experian and/or Trans Union.


Fortunately, there’s a law that protects you, the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


“Fair Credit Reporting Act? So that’s a thing?”




The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 (“FCRA”) requires Equifax, Experian, Trans Union, and other credit reporting agencies to ensure the “maximum possible accuracy” of the credit information they have on you, investigate disputes, delete anything that can’t be verified, and only give out your private data with to someone with a legit reason (“permissible purpose”), among other duties. The FCRA also requires creditors, called “furnishers” of information under the FCRA, to report your accounts accurately and investigate your disputes, among other things.


The FCRA is designed to protect the privacy and accuracy of credit information about you. In general, the FCRA gives you rights, including the right to dispute information that shouldn’t be there, to know why you were turned down for credit, to know what’s in your credit file and to know your credit score, and to consent before your employer sees your credit report. Furthermore, before somebody can look at your full credit report, they have to have a valid reason, such as when you are applying for credit or leasing an apartment.

Whenever you apply for a mortgage, a refinance, an auto loan, a credit card, insurance, or even a job, someone most certainly “pulled” your credit and looked at your credit report. If anything on your credit report belongs to someone else or is otherwise objectively inaccurate, you could get turned down for the house, car, insurance or job through no fault of your own.


Unfortunately for many people, Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and various other “bureaus” and creditors/furnishers don’t fix the problem after multiple disputes.


You need a Consumer Protection & Fair Credit Reporting Act lawyer to help you solve this problem.



Credit reporting is a very different area of the law, and it takes a very different kind of lawyer to do it.


It’s highly technical litigation that requires someone with a very specific knowledge base.


There aren’t a lot of us running around – so I’m glad you found me.


It’s a deep rabbit hole that you shouldn’t go down if you don’t know it well, and you certainly shouldn’t do it alone.


You need a lawyer who will act quickly and creatively to solve your problem. You need an innovative and results-driven litigator — with a high pain tolerance for fine print. You need a lawyer with a deep knowledge base in consumer protection laws who is well known and respected in the field. You need a lawyer who can take this problem off your plate, who is determined to get issues straightened out for you to every last detail — so you can focus on what’s important to you.


This is what I do.


If you are fed up with trying to fix credit report errors on your own and want to start working on a solution, contact me.