Xerox fined $1M over credit reporting mistakes that may have affected you

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If your credit was pulled for any reason in 2016, there’s a chance it contained incorrect information.

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Software defects led to inaccurate credit reports

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has levied a $1.1 million fine against Conduent Business Services — formerly known as Xerox Business Services — because glitches in its proprietary software fouled up automated reports it got from five auto lenders and sent to the credit bureaus.

In addition, the CFPB says Conduent was negligent in informing its auto lender clients about these known flaws in its software.

The incorrect or incomplete credit reporting info generated by the former Xerox company affected more than 1 million borrowers.

The names of the five auto lenders who used the Conduent software were not disclosed.

“Mistakes on credit reports can greatly harm consumers, so we are ordering Xerox to fix its flawed systems,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

What to do if there’s something wrong on your credit file

Errors on your credit report could result in credit denials or cause you to pay higher interest rates if your application is approved.

You may also find it hard to qualify for employment with bad credit, or find that you’ll pay more in insurance than you would otherwise.

If you know there’s something wrong on your credit report, it’s incumbent on you to fight to have it corrected.

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Here are 9 tips to keep in mind as you go through the dispute process…

  • File your dispute at the same time with both the credit issuer and the credit bureau.
  • Do not use the automated system to dispute. Always use the manual form.
  • Equifax’s manual form is available here. TransUnion’s manual form is available here. Experian’s manual form is available here.
  • Send all documents by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • If the problem is not fixed, re-dispute it with both the bureau and the credit issuer.
  • If that fails, sue both the credit issuer and the credit bureau in small claims court. Talk to a clerk of court for guidance on the process. You do not need a lawyer to do this.
  • Find out where the registered agent of the credit issuer and the credit bureau is in the state by calling your state’s corporation commission. (Do a simple web search of your state’s name plus the keyword “corporation commission” to get started.) Then serve those registered agents with the lawsuit.
  • Know that most of the time, the offenders will usually cave before the court date and remove the black mark from your report.
  • If all else fails, contact the CFPB for help.

RELATED: What you need to know about store credit cards

Thinking about buying new or used during an end-of-year sale? Think again…

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