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By Law Office of Abel L. Pierre, Attorney at Law, P.C.

There are many people in this country who should have excellent credit. They have never encountered severe financial difficulty. And this group of people have also never encountered unpaid medical expenses. They have been employed and have not been late or defaulted on any of their credit card accounts.

Their score should all be in the high 700’s right? This is not necessarily the case. Recently the FTC estimated that at least 70% of Americans have bona fide mistakes on their credit report and don’t even know it. Often times they have judgments and other things that stem from issues that have nothing to do with them.

One of the biggest credit reporting issues that we find have to do with merged files. Simply put, this means that a consuming question can have someone else’s bad credit on their credit report. This often happens within the context of families.

Parents and children who share the same names such as Sr’s and Jr’s many times have each other’s credit reports mixed up. John Smith Jr may have defaulted on multiple credit accounts and now this shows up on John Smith Sr’s credit report. Married couples often times have merged files even when they don’t share an account. Siblings may also have mixed files because of similar names and similar addresses.

It is important to make sure that a family member’s bad credit does not inadvertently impact you. A lot of times Mary Smith may think she has perfect credit because she’s never been late on a bill. However her sister Miriam Smith lost her job recently and was unable to keep up with her accounts. So now Mary Smith’s credit is inadvertently mixed up because of similarities in the name and address between the two individuals. To make matters worse Mary Smith and her husband recently applied for a mortgage but were turned down because Miriam Smith’s bad credit inadvertently showed up on Mary Smith’s joint credit report with her husband.

There is a very specific method for dealing with these issues. This method was laid out very clearly by the FTC and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRa), the federal law which deals with credit reports. It is very important to deal with an attorney who is experienced and trained to handle these types of cases effectively and efficiently. If you have discovered mistakes on your credit report and you need someone to address them right away please do not hesitate to contact the law office of Abel L. Pierre. You can email us or call us at 212-766-3323.