Let’s say that you have done all you can to have the error deleted from your report, have made phone calls, written letters back and forth, and have coordinated with the creditor and the credit bureau about your concern and the damaging item is still on your credit report. You feel that your only recourse is to seek refuge from the courts.
Should you go this route, be warned that this is not going to be easy. It is going to take a chunk of your time not to mention the stress of possibly losing and paying hefty attorney’s fees. On a more positive note, however, winning will mean not only a higher credit score, but also collecting punitive damages.
The first step is for you to hire an attorney. Note that you can go to court on your own for this type of case. However, it is strongly recommended that you get one for two reasons: First, the laws vary from state to state and they can be complex. Also, suing a creditor or a credit bureau is difficult if not impossible for most states except for California and Massachusetts. Your lawyer will be able to advise you regarding very important matters such as whether to file your case in a small claims court or a civil court. In the event that the state will not allow you to file a case with the creditor or the credit bureau, you can sue for “defamation” or in the case of identity theft, file for “negligent enablement of identity fraud.” Unless you are a lawyer yourself, these legalities may be beyond your scope.
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Another reason to hire an attorney is to ensure that you have answered the forms correctly and file the papers following the time frame and procedure of the court. These may sound like minor technicalities but many cases have been lost or delayed for failure to answer forms correctly or file on time. Your lawyer will review your documents thoroughly to ensure that everything is in order and will submit these to court at the proper time.
Once you have filed your case, you will have to wait for the credit bureau to respond after they have received a notification of filing. You can expect two types of responses to your case: 1) They might attempt to settle the case out of court or 2) They will fight it out with you in court. Either way, make sure that you let your attorney handle communications with the lawyers of the other side. Of course, he or she will have to consult with you before making any decisions. Remember that you hired the lawyer’s services. He will tell you the options you can take and recommend the best course of action. However, you call the shots.
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