HOW TO: Fix a false utility company entry

Whenever a cable company or utility company allegedly reports incorrect information on your credit report, damaging your credit score, you, the consumer, are unfortunately responsible for the burden of proof to correct this. While this can be frustrating, it can be addressed as long as you are willing to follow the process to fix it. First, you must verify that the information on the credit report is incorrect. Second, you must make sure you’ve jumped through all the necessary legal hoops to take the case to court. Let’s delve into this a little further.

If the cable company in question is reporting information to the credit bureau, you need to be sure that the information is in fact false. Review all previous payment records to support and make sure that what they are reporting- that you are delinquent in your utility bill- is false. You may need to prove that you made all the payments and turned in the cable box. You may need to prove that you turned off the service. The hardest thing to prove is that the service was not provided to you- that it is ID theft.   Start with offering this information to the utility company. Give them the opportunity to know what the problem is, and how to fix it.

Once you are certain that the information is incorrect, you can start to jump through the legal hoops to make a valid lawsuit.

Construct a proper dispute letter to send to the credit bureaus. A proper dispute letter should include a detailed explanation of what is wrong and what changes need to be made. It can also explain the damages that have been caused as a result of this wrongdoing and your documented history of payments to support your claim. You should send this letter to the credit bureaus by US certified mail, return receipt requested to the office address of the credit bureaus.

Some times it will take more than 1 dispute. You should provide more information each time you send a dispute. Don’t give up.  Repeated efforts do pay off.

It is possible to reach a resolution with the credit bureaus by following this process. However, if you do not reach a resolution after following these steps, consult an attorney to discuss taking this case to court.

The following is a quick summary of questions to consider as you walk through this process:

  • What information is false?
  • How can I verify that this information is false?
  • Did I tell the credit bureaus what is wrong and how to fix it?
  • Did I have a consequence of this harm? Did I get denied credit, or charged a higher interest rate?

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Krumbein Consumer Legal Services, Inc.
5310 Markel Rd.
Suite 102
Richmond, VA 23230