PUBLIC RECORD MISMATCHES
One of the main items on a credit report is public record information. For credit reports, this means any bankruptcy that you filed or any civil judgments or tax liens that have been filed against you. A public record on your credit file can be one of the most damaging items affecting your credit score.
A public record mismatch is when the credit reporting agencies have erroneously matched a public record to your file when the record in fact belongs to someone else. This problem can be limited to public record information, or part of a larger problem with your credit file called a mixed credit file. Public record mismatches are normally caused by the fact that credit reporting agencies did not have enough personal identifying information associated with the record to definitively match the record to the proper person. The reason this occurs is because public records by law cannot contain personal identifying information like your social security number and credit reporting agencies do not want to make the effort to determine who the record actually belongs to.
The most common circumstances where public records mismatches occur are when the person to whom the public record actually belongs to has the same name as you and some portion of their personal identifiers also match (e.g., last four digits of social security number, year of birth). Another common mismatch occurs when a public record belongs to an immediate family member with the same name (e.g., father and son) because the credit reporting agencies will allow public records to match based on name and address only.
Public Record Mismatches Are A Serious Problem You Should Not Ignore
If your credit report contains a public record mismatch, you should not ignore this problem. Minimally, you need to contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the erroneous items on the report. You also may want to consider speaking to a lawyer. Public record mismatches can cause numerous harms including:
- Denials of credit including mortgages, auto loans and credit cards;
- Delays or denial of your employment application if your credit is checked;
- Denied an apartment or other rental property;
- Denied utility services such a cable tv or a cell phone;
- Denied insurance.
In addition to these harms, public record mismatches reported about you can adversely impact your reputation and cause substantial emotional stress. All of these harms are compensable under the law, but you are unlikely to receive any compensation without help from a lawyer.
Do You Need Help?
If you think your credit report contains a public record mismatch, Gorski Law may be able to help resolve the problem and obtain compensation for you. Initial consultations are always free. Call 215-330-2100 or email the firm to schedule a consultation.