If Mixed Credit Report Ruined Your Life, We Can Help! Mixed Credit Report Lawyers Are Your Key to a Full Recovery
If you’ve newly applied for a job, mortgage, auto financing, credit card, rental, insurance, benefit, or other prospect only to be rejected due to red flags in your credit profile that don’t belong there, you may be the victim of a mixed credit report. Most people only learn about mixed credit reports once their life has been inadvertently thrown into turmoil by this type of consumer data mishap.
So, you may have gone from never knowing what a mixed credit report lawyer is to searching desperately for the best one. You can relax now because you’re in the right place.
As a nationwide consumer protection law firm with seventy-five years of combined experience, the team of skilled lawyers at Consumer Attorneys has seen, heard, and handled every harmful scenario imaginable due to mixed credit reports. We have helped thousands of people recover their reputation, financial health, and emotional well-being after these mistakes caused endless, unwarranted harm.
I’ll explain what mixed credit reports are, how they happen, what your rights are, what you can do to repair the damage, how a lawyer can help, and how to get compensation. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to overcome the threat posed by mixed credit reports and thrive.
What Does Mixed Credit Report Mean?
Mixed credit reports are a type of data reporting error that impacts a person’s credit profile, credit score, and creditworthiness.
As you likely know, in our consumer economy, many of the biggest moments of our lives are driven by our ability to access credit or our perception of being financially stable. This is why decisions about approving a loan, mortgage, credit card, auto financing, rental, insurance, benefit, or employment application hinge on how a financial institution perceives us from a risk standpoint. Credit reports are essentially financial risk assessment profiles, complete with a credit score that purports to encapsulate our creditworthiness symbolically by assigning each of us a number ranging from 300-850.
Three multi-billion dollar nationwide companies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) generate most of the credit profiles that people are familiar with. Because of their size and their dominance in the consumer data industry, these three companies are referred to as credit bureaus.
As the name implies, a mixed credit report is one that mistakenly contains information belonging to more than one person. Specifically, it is a credit report that contains information belonging to different, unaffiliated people, and this constitutes a credit reporting error.
Some credit reports may rightfully reference another person, such as when a mortgage or other loan is held by two people. However, if the information being reported in your credit profile is wholly unaffiliated with you from a financial perspective, mixed data may be present. This type of error is also referred to as a co-mingled credit report or credit profile.
How Do Credit Reports Become Mixed or Merged?
To understand how a mixed credit report happens, it helps to be reminded of how credit reports are generated.
Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is federal legislation that, along with other federal and state laws, regulates the consumer data industry. Under the FCRA, the credit bureaus are known as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) because they are in the business of gathering, reviewing, and compiling consumer information into credit reports. There are actually several dozen CRAs, but the credit bureaus are the largest and most often utilized.
Data Furnishers and Third Parties
The CRAs get their data by buying it from other companies. They buy information from companies that you have a direct relationship with, such as credit card companies, service providers, banks, lenders, mortgage providers, and similar. Because the latter furnish or provide data to the CRAs, they are known as data furnishers.
The CRAs also buy information from third-party companies that scan and gather data from municipal records (local, county, state), court records (civil and criminal), and other databases.
What Is a Mixed Credit File
The vast majority of the data handling process is done using algorithms. This means that CRAs, data furnishers, and third-party suppliers all use software platforms and coding specially written to seek out, gather, review, and compile data about an individual to generate a credit report. You can imagine that with such a vast network of data streams at play, there is tremendous opportunity for error.
Mixed credit files are only one among many errors that happen, but they are common. Data streams from one individual are inadvertently pulled into the credit profile of a different, unaffiliated person. As a result, the algorithms that compute credit scores are also affected, causing erroneous credit scores to be generated based on the wrongful information in the report.
Often, superficial similarities between people cause the information to become co-mingled. For instance, the same birthdate, the same or similar name, or an input error that accidentally links two people. However, significantly, these superficial similarities are almost always easily distinguishable with even a basic level of scrutiny. In other words, if the credit bureaus bothered to have meaningful review protocols in place, especially with a human review component, most of these errors would be weeded out quickly and would never surface in the wrong credit report.
The fallout from mixed credit files, as you likely already know, is tremendous. Loans, mortgages, car purchases, benefits, and certain employment, insurance, and other opportunities can all be denied, revoked, or lost as a result. Consider, for instance, that even if you worked really hard to establish or improve your creditworthiness, your profile could be mixed with data from someone who has multiple evictions, a long history of unpaid bills and collections activity, and a default on a significant loan.
How a Lawyer Can Help When Your Credit Report is Mixed with Someone Else’s
Consumer protection lawyers, also known as mixed credit report lawyers, fight credit bureaus to fix your mixed credit profile, get you compensation for your harm, and get you back on track. These lawyers can help you in a number of ways, such as:
- Knowing the laws and the credit bureau dispute process. The area of consumer data is highly regulated at the federal and state levels. A consumer protection lawyer is well-versed in how to navigate this complex legal landscape so they can protect your rights and enforce the CRA’s legal obligations. Importantly, state laws differ in some key ways when it comes to consumer data and credit reporting. Working with a lawyer like those at Consumer Attorneys who practice nationwide and know the laws in your state is critical.
In addition, lawyers like ours have helped so many consumers with mixed credit files and other credit reporting problems that we know the dispute process for CRAs, including all three credit bureaus, from the inside out.
- Providing legal advice and guidance. The process of disputing mixed data can be exhausting, disheartening, and stressful. Stalls, delays, roadblocks, shoddy, ineffective investigations, and failure to correct errors are common. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer will anticipate and navigate these unscrupulous tactics with speed, efficiency, and authority.
- Filing a lawsuit on your behalf. If the CRA fails to properly and timely investigate or correct your mixed reporting errors, a lawsuit is generally the only approach that brings resolution. By working with a consumer protection lawyer to dispute the errors, you’ll know if and when it’s time to file a lawsuit. Your lawyer will represent you through the trial, seeking resolution and compensation.
- Negotiating a settlement. At any point after a lawsuit is commenced, your consumer protection lawyer can negotiate a settlement with the CRA. In fact, with years of experience on their side, a skilled lawyer knows not only what types of compensation you can seek under the law but also when and how to optimize your chances of a very successful outcome.
What You Need to Know Before Contacting a Lawyer
Before you call or contact a consumer protection lawyer, such as those at Consumer Attorneys, it is helpful for you to know:
- Why you were rejected or denied from the specific opportunity. You have a legal right to know the reason for the adverse decision.
- Which precise information in your credit profile was used to make that decision. You have a legal right to be directed to the specific data in your profile that was determinative.
- Whether any of the information in your credit profile is inaccurate, misleading, or false. You have a legal right to receive a free copy of the credit report upon which the decision was based. Review the information that was used to deny you the opportunity in question. Is it accurate? Is it your data? Does something about it seem off or unfair? Complete a thorough review and identify any questionable entries. Look for wrong spellings, dates, account holder name and gender, company names, locations, account numbers, etc. Errors can show up in any of the details.
You don’t need to know the exact nature of the specific problem before calling a lawyer. If you have actual knowledge that a mixed credit file caused you direct loss or financial harm, our lawyers can help. But if all you know at this point is that you were rejected or denied due to information in your credit profile that doesn’t seem correct, fair, or warranted, our lawyers can help with that, too.
There are all kinds of errors that make their way into credit reports, and consumer protection lawyers handle them all. After one of our lawyers has discussed the situation with you, they’ll be able to guide you toward gathering and reviewing the right documents and information to clarify the cause of the errors.
Similarly, you don’t need to catalog all of the ways you’ve been harmed before calling a lawyer. It’s enough to know that you’ve been harmed by being denied a financial or other opportunity due to errors in your credit report. As we explore, you may learn that these errors have been harming you for years.
At Consumer Attorneys, a consultation with one of our lawyers is always free. We’re here to listen, discuss, sort, and plan.
Who Will Your Lawyer Sue for a Mixed Credit Report?
Under the FCRA, you have a right to the accuracy of information with respect to what’s included in your credit history. The CRAs, such as the credit bureaus, have an obligation to meet this legal standard of accuracy by implementing adequate procedures and protocols. Having your data co-mingled with someone else’s data into a single mixed credit file constitutes a failure to meet this regulatory standard.
Accordingly, the FCRA also gives you the right to sue the CRA (and any legally implicated data furnisher or third party) for creating the problem, failing to catch the mix-up, and reporting the wrongful information.
Best of all, the FCRA makes the companies you sue pay for your legal bills! This is because it would be patently unfair to make you pay for the legal services required to fix mixed credit errors that you didn’t cause in a report that you didn’t create.
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get From a Mixed Credit Report Lawsuit?
When you’ve been harmed by co-mingled data, under the FCRA and other state and federal regulations, you can sue for compensation.
- Compensation for actual harm. This is known as “actual” or “compensatory” damages. It means that if you have sustained any kind of financial or emotional harm as a result of credit reporting errors, you have the right to be made whole again. For instance, if you are denied a job due to mixed credit errors and remain unemployed for three months, miss rental payments, go to collections, face repossessions, or other harms as a result, you can sue for all of the financial damages you sustained.
- Compensation as punishment. These are called “punitive damages” because they are meant to “punish” or incentivize the wrongdoer into making systemic improvements to prevent similar harm going forward.
And you are entitled to have the errors corrected!
Mixed Credit Report Lawyers Fees
From the first phone call until the end of the lawsuit, you will never owe us a single dollar out-of-pocket.
As discussed above, under the FCRA, you have the legal right to file a lawsuit against a CRA, data furnisher, or other company for reporting errors in your credit profile due to co-mingled information. And you have the right to pursue this lawsuit with a highly reputable lawyer without having to pay any amount of money out-of-pocket. To ensure this, the FCRA makes the companies you sue pay all of your lawyer’s costs and fees if you win so that you don’t have to. If the lawsuit isn’t successful, you still owe our us nothing because we just absorb the loss.
We also know that you won’t know if you need a lawyer until you talk to a lawyer, so at Consumer Attorneys, our consultations are free, too.
Trust Our Lawyers
At Consumer Attorneys, we are a nationwide team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers who are active litigators and passionate advocates on behalf of consumers. With over seventy-five years of combined experience, our lawyers are dedicated to protecting and defending consumer rights in an economy that strongly favors corporate profit over hardworking people.
We pride ourselves on being educated, ethical, and empathetic lawyers who care about the problems that plague the consumer data industry because we genuinely care about our clients.
When you suffer rejection or denial due to mixed credit report errors, trust our lawyers to get you back to good. It’s why we’re here.
Contact Us If Someone Else’s Data is in Your Credit Report
With no out-of-pocket cost to you, there is nothing to lose in discussing your mixed credit report error with one of the consumer protection lawyers at Consumer Attorneys today!
From coast to coast, we’re always right where you need us to be.
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