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Credit Reports: How to Dispute Any Negative Item 
 
by Brian Thompson August 26, 2005

What the Law Says

Federal credit laws state that any item on a credit report can be disputed to the credit bureaus. The beauty of this is that the laws also state that any dispute must be invested, and the burden of proof lies with the bureaus—not the individual.

In addition, the credit bureaus have 30 days from the time they receive the dispute to investigate it. After 30 days, if they cannot confirm the dispute with the lending company, then they must remove the record from the credit report. All of this is much to the advantage to the consumer.

When the credit bureaus investigate a disputed item, they typically contact the lender either by phone or with some type of message. Well, let’s consider that lenders are constantly sending data to the bureaus, as well as being asked for information concerning disputes. It is easy to see that not all disputes receive a reply. In fact, some lending companies are pretty good and not answering disputes. This is another plus for a person trying to erase negative information

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the law says that anything can be disputed—even if it is accurate. So, if you have negative marks that are true, they can still be disputed and must be investigated by the bureaus. This includes open lines of credit, inquiries, and even bankruptcies.

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