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What can I do if a credit bureau won't fix a mistake?

For starters, dispute the inaccurate information with each of the credit bureaus reporting the information. Prepare for the worst. If the information appearing on your credit report is truly inaccurate they will probably verify the information anyway, especially if the listing is more serious as in the case of a bankruptcy.

In order to prepare a case against the credit bureaus, you should keep copies of your dispute letters and send them certified mail, return receipt requested. By documenting your disputes, you establish that the credit bureaus willfully ignored your notification of their mistake.

If the credit bureaus fail to delete the erroneous items, you may have a good cause of action against them. If you do not have other negative credit that is actually accurate, then your case becomes even better because damages are clearer. Your damages may include credit that you failed to obtain, home and car purchases that were declined or passed because your credit was known to you to be bad and even your time spent disputing their mistakes.

Given sufficient prospective damages and a clear-cut case, you should have no trouble finding an attorney willing to conduct a lawsuit "on contingency." In other words, the lawyer will take your case without requiring you to pay a retainer. The attorney would be compensated only after a settlement has been reached with the credit bureaus. In practice, these cases are almost always settled out of court and can easily yield settlements exceeding $50,000.