Kenneth F. Belva

Equifax: Will not disclose inaccurate upstream data provider

My credit is monitored for possible changes to my accounts. It turns out that one piece of information on my credit report was changed and now is not correct. It’s not life threating and does not impact my credit score, but it’s still incorrect information.

To resolve this issue, I called an unlisted Equifax hot line (not listed on the website) supplied to me by my credit monitoring agency. In addition to being authenticated via my social security number, address and date of birth, I was told that I needed to supply them with further identification in order to change my information. I was required mail them a copy of my driver’s license and social security card.

OK: while it’s a pain, I can understand the need to supply something physical as an additional authenticator.

To help make sure this issue would not arise again, I wanted to practice some preventive medicine. I realized I should contact the credit agency which incorrectly reported my information so I could fix the incorrect data before it reached Equifax. My concern was that I would correct Equifax but the change would be reverted when my incorrect information was again reported by the inaccurate credit agency.

When I requested the agency information, Equifax told me that they could not tell me which agency made the change to my credit report! They told me they did not have that information! I asked to speak with a supervisor and they refused by telling me the supervisor would just tell me the same thing.

I suppose this non-disclosure stance is an outgrowth of the Choicepoint data breach, but I still find it absurd that Equifax would not reveal provider information to an authenticated individual, even in written form.

The following questions remain:

  • Who has this incorrect information on me?
  • Why are they reporting changes to Equifax when this data clearly did not change?
  • Why is Equifax trusting them?
  • Why can’t Equifax tell me who is providing them with my information?

4 Comments

  1. Steve C Dec 20, 2007 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Threaten to sue them and see if their tune changes any:
    http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/special/19990820.asp

  2. Kenneth F. Belva Dec 20, 2007 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the link. Great article, but somewhat depressing!

    I’m going to keep all options open at this point.

    I’ll be sure to post a follow-up.

  3. Jake Dec 27, 2007 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Just send a certified letter to the Equifax disputing the information. By law they must investigate and are required to remove the information if they are unable to substantiate and provide you with evidence within I believe 30 days. If they fail to do so keep a copies of letter and seek legal assistance.

  4. David Funk Dec 28, 2007 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Jake,

    I’ve hade Equifax et.al. data problems. They will tell you within 30 days that they checked with the provider who assured them that the data was correct, therefore there is no reason to be alarmed. Note that seeking legal assistance is problematic in that the Un-Fair Credit Reporting Act puts more effort into protecting credit reporters than the people being reported on. You can ask them to correct the data, you CANNOT sue them. Your congress at work.

    My recommendation is to put your wife on the phone, get her to cry a lot, and, maybe, you will get some information. If the company making the report doesn’t want to change their report, they will not, no amount of documentation will work. They will say anything to get you off the phone, and then not do what they agreed to. You will call back only to find out that the individual you talked to never worked there.

    The only good news is that everything (sort of) goes away in 7 years.

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