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How long do credit bureaus have to respond?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act stipulates that the credit bureaus must complete an investigation within 30 days of receiving a dispute letter. However, the credit bureaus have the right to consider a dispute letter "frivolous and irrelevant" at their own discretion. While the credit bureaus are careful not to overuse this privilege, they may deem virtually any dispute frivolous or irrelevant without having to justify their decision.

If the credit bureaus do not complete their investigation within the specified 30 days, there is unfortunately little recourse the consumer has. Many consumers think that the bureaus must delete all disputed credit if they are unable to complete their investigation in the required time period. This is incorrect. Frankly, they can take as long as they like. The only recourse a consumer might have is to initiate a class-action lawsuit for taking too long.