Why I hate Equifax

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    • #242002

      I’ve been working for the past year to get a negative trade line removed from my credit report, Equifax has been a nightmare.
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      Two entries showed up on my credit report about a year ago for a Cell Phone bill for $95 listed as a charge off for $95 and also as a settled collection paid for less than full amount. This entry was not mine, had nothing to do with me other than the same last name on an inactive account. I disputed the two trade lines through Equifax, they came back “verified” (thanks so much e-Oscar), I requested a reinvestigation, also returned as verified and reported correctly. I wrote two letters to the cell phone company (each trade line had a different address) in August, a polite but somewhat demanding letter – crickets, no answer.
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      As a final attempt to correct this issue, prior to filing a small claim lawsuit, I filed a BBB complaint against the cell phone company. It took a while, but the cell phone company was responsive and agreed that the trade lines were being reported in error. Beginning of November 2011, the cell phone company notified all three CRA’s of the error and to remove the trade lines. Trans Union and Experian quickly corrected their (my) reports, Equifax did nothing.
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      In late November I notified Equifax that the two trade lines should have been removed, Equifax opened another “dispute”. November 29th Equifax returned a result of the dispute with both trade lines marked “deleted”, but they only deleted 1 from my report and left the one that said “Charge Off $95”. I notified Equifax that they should have deleted both trade lines and referred them back to their results from the previous dispute. You guessed right, Equifax opened yet another dispute and 4 weeks later returned a result of “account verified as correct” (not to be deleted).
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      After the last (4th) dispute I wrote back to my contact at the cell phone company which stated that November 7th they had sent the delete, November 22 in response to a dispute from Equifax they again requested the account deleted AND again today in response to my letter again they were notifying Equifax to delete the incorrect trade line. The Cell Phone Company also said there was nothing else they could do but were sending me a letter stating that the account trade line was in error and to feel free to show it to any creditor, etc.
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      As of December 30th, Equifax had not removed the trade line so I sent a letter to Equifax listing everything and including the letters from the cell phone company, both the one showing 3 attempts to delete the trade line and the one that I should show to creditors stating the listing was in error and should be deleted. Again, a polite but firm letter was sent to Equifax that included the fact that I would file a lawsuit in Jan 2012 (FCRA, etc) if they did not correct the listing. Result? Crickets, no answer no response and as of 1/12/2012 the trade line remained.
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      This was a slam dunk case for small claims court including costs and possible damages, but I really was not interested in dragging it out for another year. I filed a BBB complaint against Equifax and basically just pasted the letter I sent them at the end of December as my complaint. On the 19th of January, Equifax responded to my BBB complaint with a statement that the trade line would be deleted, on the 20th it was. End of story? nah….
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      On the 20th of January Equifax also deleted 20 other trade lines, all positive ones including my 34 year old Macy’s (still open, $0 balance) account, resulting in a 41 point drop in my FICO score. Now before you say that was just simple maintenance, Trans Union shows me with 43 trade lines, Experian shows me with 41 trade lines, Equifax shows me with only 20 and those accounts that I held jointly with my wife (Macy’s, car loans, paid off mortgage on a second home, etc) are still showing on my wife’s report, just not mine. I paid for credit pulls from all CRA’s as of the 21st and my Trans Union FICO score has not dropped either.
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      What is the possibility that 20 different trade lines would “expire” on the same day for me but not my wife? Retaliation for filing the BBB complaint or just continued incompetence by Equifax?

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