3 reasons to pull your credit reports after being sued
At the time of this article until April 2021, you can pull your credit reports for free every week through AnnualCreditReport.com. In this article, we discuss why you should do this regularly throughout your lawsuit. Print these to PDF, save them on your computer. Then look at them and check for errors.
There are three time periods we want to look at your credit reports on compared to the lawsuit:
- Before the lawsuit
- During the lawsuit
- After the lawsuit
We need to look at your credit reports within this context. Look at how your credit report compares to the lawsuit before, during, and after.
Here’s an example:
Midland Funding is suing you for $5,000.
You pull your report and it shows $4,200.
The amount they are suing for is incorrect or your credit report is wrong. Something is wrong, right?
Since there is a discrepancy, you may have the power to argue in your case about this.
What did the original creditor say the balance was? Look for these discrepancies.
You may also be able to use the statute of limitations defense.
How long does the company have to sue you?
Have they sued you too late?
They say you made a payment in February 2018. You don’t remember this. So, you look at your credit report.
Your credit report doesn’t show a payment to Midland Funding or the original creditor since February 2014.
This information can be helpful even if it is the original creditor.
Before the lawsuit, we should be paying attention to the balance and the date of last payment.
Now, we are in the middle of the lawsuit. You have filed your answer and you dispute owing this company any money.
If you file an answer against a debt collector, such as LVNV or Portfolio Recovery, disputing a debt, check to see what they are reporting.
For example, you file an answer on the 5th and your report is updated 10 days later. On your report, the collector does not show that you are disputing the debt.
This is a violation of FDCPA 1692e(8). If the collector knows you have disputed, they must mark you as being disputed. At least if they update your report — and they always update your report.
Keep an eye on the balance. Is it going up or down? Is the date of last payment changing?
Sometimes, once they have been caught, the debt collector will change the credit report to slip in a more recent date of last payment. This is a lie where they try to get around the statute of limitations.
If you have all of your credit reports throughout your case, you can prove the debt collector is making changes only after being caught.
You’ve won your case or it has been dismissed.
What happens now? Should the collector still be reporting?
Depending on the outcome of the case, it is likely they should not be reporting on you any longer.
If they are, should there be a balance?
Here’s another example:
Synchrony sues you for $5,000 and settles for $3,000.
You pay the $3,000 and the case is dismissed.
Should they show $2,000 on your credit report?
No. They should show a balance of $0 because you have paid the agreed-upon amount.
It is important to pull your credit reports for 3 reasons:
- See what was reported before the lawsuit
- See what was reported during the lawsuit
- And finally, see what was reported after the lawsuit
Any inaccurate information you find may give you the power to sue under the FDCPA for false credit reporting or dispute the original creditor under the FCRA after the lawsuit if the error has not been fixed.
If someone is threatening to sue, has sued, or even if you have not yet been sued, you should pull your credit reports.
We hope this is helpful to you!
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