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.
- The furnisher does not have to investigate a direct dispute if it is about certain kinds of information, such as:
- the consumer's 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
- 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;
- The furnisher does not have to investigate a direct dispute if the furnisher has reasonably determined that the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant; and
- 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.