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COVID-19, The Cares Act and Credit Reporting

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COVID-19, The Cares Act and Credit Reporting

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an economic slowdown unprecedented in modern history. In response to this economic impact The CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. One of its provisions in the act provided for mortgage forbearance agreements and modifications to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Pursuant to the Cares Act, most mortgage holders/servicers are offering mortgage forbearance agreements. No negative credit reporting should occur for those who receive this assistance. Credit reporting agencies such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax must report as follows:

  • Report as “current” if the account was current before the forbearance or modification agreement if the consumer makes the required modified payments or if they are not required to make a payment under the forbearance or modification agreement; or
  • Report as “delinquent” if the account was delinquent before the accommodation, unless the consumer brings the account current during that period, at which time it should be reported as “current.”

If a mortgage creditor is reporting inaccurately then follow these steps:

 #1 – Pull your free credit reports, you need proof of the erroneous information from each credit reporting agency.

Go to annualcreditreport.com and download and save the entire credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (not your credit score) these are legally known as “consumer reports.”

#2 – Send a dispute letter to each credit reporting agency that is reporting the erroneous information.

Dispute errors on your credit report by sending each agency reporting the erroneous information a dispute letter based on the Federal Trade Commission’s sample (FTC) complaint letter or contact our office for help drafting a dispute letter. The sample complaint letter can be found on the FTC website and at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure to keep copies and include of any supporting documentation, especially your forbearance agreement.  Send the disputed letter to each credit reporting agency by certified mailAgain, make sure to keep copies of everything your send!

Trans Union
Consumer Solutions
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Phone: (800) 916-8800

Equifax Information Services
P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (888) 873-5420

PO Box 4500
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (800) 583-4080

#3 – Dispute incorrect information with the Mortgage Creditor

Contact the creditor (furnisher) of the inaccurate information. Use the FTC’s sample complaint letter to dispute inaccurate information with the creditor(s) directly. Provide all supporting documents with the information regarding the dispute.

#4 – Wait for response

The credit reporting agencies must investigate the dispute and report their conclusion. Pursuant to the Cares Act Forty-five (45) days after the dispute is initiated, credit reporting agencies are required by law to provide consumers with the resultsThe results should be accompanied by a free credit report.

#5If the dispute is not resolved

Contact our office for possible legal action: Sawin & Shea LLC (317) 759-1483. In most cases attorney fees are paid on a contingent fee basis, which means that we do not get paid unless the client receives compensation.

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