IDENTITY THEFT: CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY REQUESTS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Yesterday I wrote about what a Consumer should do if they believe that they are the victim of Identity Theft. If a Consumer disputes the account with the credit reporting bureau in the manner prescribed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, then the credit reporting bureau is required to block the information. 

However, there are circumstances which permit the credit reporting agency to decline to block the information. If they think the block was a mistake, the consumer lied about the circumstances concerning the identity theft, or the consumer has in some way benefited from any transaction relating to the alleged identity theft. If the credit bureau does decline to block the information then they must provide notice to the consumer and certify the accuracy of the information.

There are some instances in which a credit reporting bureau may request additional information from the consumer rather than decline the consumer’s request to block information that is the result of identity theft. A credit reporting agency can request additional information so long as they do so within 15 days of receipt of the consumer’s letter disputing the account. The request must be reasonable, some credit reporting agencies rather than blocking the inaccurate account or declining to block the account will respond to all identity theft disputes by requesting additional information without even looking at the consumer’s dispute letter. The request for additional information must be reasonable, it should state in some manner what information should be added to the dispute. If you send a credit reporting agency multiple disputes each time complying with their requests and they are still requesting additional information, then they are not acting reasonably.

Additionally, it is not appropriate for a credit reporting agency to ask for additional information if the consumer has provided the agency with a copy of a valid police report containing detailed information about the incident, and the police report has the signature or the badge number of the police officer that took the report. If you’ve provided this information to the credit reporting agency then they must block the information you’ve indicated is the result of identity theft or they should tell you why they refuse to do so.