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"Frivolous And Irrelevant" Disputes

The Fair Credit Reporting Act states that credit bureaus can refuse to investigate consumer disputes which they perceive as "frivolous and irrelevant." It is completely at the discretion of the bureaus as to what qualifies for this type of rejection. The only possible recourse would be to attempt to prove bad faith or negligence in court, which could be extremely difficult, especially in an individual case.

They will probably consider:

Frequency of disputes - In the past (especially before the Credit Repair Organizations Act), some credit repair companies would flood the bureaus with numerous disputes simultaneously, hoping that one would slip through the 30-day time limit for a response. Even disputing twice within 3-6 months could be risky.

Repeated disputes on the same item - Trans Union specifically indicates "Date Verified" on consumer disclosure copies of credit reports. So when they pull your file in upon receiving your dispute letter, they may see this and respond with, "We will not investigate this item because it has been previously disputed and confirmed." Experian and Equifax may have internal notations that they don't show you. Also, if you have been rejected like this on one or two items, then they may be suspicious of all further disputes from you.

Number of items - The more items you dispute, the more suspicious it seems. Unless your file has been accidentally merged with someone else's, it seems very unlikely that five or ten unrelated derogatory items would appear in your file by mistake.

The ratio of good to bad items on the entire report - Even if you are only disputing a couple of items at a time, you will have reduced credibility if your report is generally full of derogatories.

The tone of your letter - Is it polite, sincerely asking for help in the correction of a mistake, or is it angry, making demands and attacking the bureau and credit reporting in general? Does it sound like someone who isn't very smart, doesn't know their rights, and can be brushed off, or someone who is intelligent enough to complain to the FTC or file a lawsuit? Is the letter too slick, like the consumer has done this before? Does it appear to have been individually composed, or does it seem like a form letter?

There may be other criteria, but only the credit bureaus know for sure.

Consider these factors carefully, because if the credit bureaus internally red-flag your file with, "This person is attempting credit repair," then this will place a major obstacle before you, even if you cannot directly see it.

 

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