Answers about Credit Disputes

Does a furnisher have to investigate all direct disputes?

No. The general rule is that the furnisher must conduct a reasonable investigation of disputes unless an exception applies. There are several exceptions to the general rule, including the following.

  1. The furnisher does not have to investigate a direct dispute if it is about certain kinds of information, such as:
    • the consumers identifying information, such as name, date of birth, telephone number, or Social Security Number;
    • the identity of past or present employers
    • inquiries or requests for a credit report
    • information derived from public records such as bankruptcies, liens, and other legal matters (unless provided by a furnisher with an account or other relationship with the consumer)
    • information related to fraud alerts or active duty alerts; or
    • information provided to a consumer reporting agency by another furnisher
    In many cases, you can dispute this type of information with the consumer reporting agency.
  2. The furnisher does not have to investigate disputes that it reasonably believes are submitted by a credit repair organization or that are submitted with the help of such an organization;
  3. The furnisher does not have to investigate a direct dispute if the furnisher has reasonably determined that the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant; and
  4. The furnisher does not have to investigate a dispute if it has given the consumer an address for submitting a direct dispute and the consumer does not send the dispute to that address; or if the consumer does not send in the information required to investigate the dispute.

August 2010