When the conventional method of disputing an inaccuracy on your credit report fails to yield results, the 623 dispute method may be a viable alternative to getting erroneous or unconfirmed information removed from your report. The 623 dispute method, named after Section 623 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, allows you to dispute any inaccurate information on your credit report directly with the original creditor. A 623 dispute does not work in the same way as a traditional dispute through the credit bureaus because you are not asking for verification of the debt, but for an investigation as to the accuracy of the records on that debt. If your creditor does not have accurate records pertaining to that debt, then they must remove the negative information on your credit report. The process usually follows these steps:
- File a dispute with the credit bureau.
- Await the results of the investigation. If the negative information is not removed, then proceed.
- File a 623 Dispute notice with the original creditor, asking for an investigation into the debt or delinquency.
- If the original creditor does not have proof of the debt or delinquency, the negative information must be removed from your credit report.
- If the original creditor does not comply, you will have to file suit in order to have it removed.
How It Works
In order to successfully challenge negative listings on your credit report through the 623 dispute method, you must first dispute the information through the credit bureau. When you dispute the information to the credit bureau, you must wait for the 30 days for the investigation to be complete. If the original creditor verifies that the negative listing is accurate, then you move forward with the next step which is to dispute directly with the original creditor itself.
Under the laws governing the 623 dispute method, creditors must conduct an investigation when requested. In addition, when investigating, they must review the information that you provide relating to that dispute, and they must respond within 30 days to your original investigation request. The new laws governing fair credit reporting explicitly require the original creditors to investigate when requested, and will take effect on July 1, 2010.
This method will only work to remove entries on your credit report that are inaccurate, or entries in which the creditor no longer has to verifiable information. While you might think that the credit card agencies will have up-to-the-minute information about your past debts, this is often not the case. In fact, most credit card companies will only keep your records for 13 to 18 months. Any late fees, charge-offs, or other information prior to this time they will not be able to verify through their records. The 623 dispute method works because anything that is inaccurate, or not in the records will have to be corrected on your credit report. What this means is, if the credit card company does not have any records on your account at all they must contact the credit bureaus to have the negative information removed.
If you have disputed the information through the credit bureau before initiating the 623 dispute process, and the creditor refuses to remove erroneous information, you will have grounds to sue. Otherwise, your only legal recourse will be to have the state or federal authorities pursue the case, and it is solely at their discretion to do so.
This dispute method probably will not work for a debt that is fairly recent. It is also unlikely to work for those companies who do keep detailed records spanning several years. In addition, you will need to be somewhat specific about the information you wish to be investigated and any records that you have that can prove that there is an error will be helpful.
At the very minimum, you must identify the account by the actual account number and provide a reason to the original creditor explaining why you are disputing the accuracy of their records. If you do not provide this information as a part of your investigation request, the original creditor may determine that your request is frivolous and deny the investigation. Overall, the 623 dispute method works best for past delinquencies and charge-offs that may no longer be listed appropriately in the records.