Method of Verification Letter
It is a good idea to initiate a dispute with both the Credit Reporting Agency’s (CRA’s) and the creditor (furnisher). However, if you only dispute with the CRA you can perform the following actions if you receive little or no response.
If/when the results of your dispute comes, there is a possibility of the results being vague. For instance, they will simply say “verified”. When this occurs, you have a right to challenge how the CRA came to the decision. Per the FCRA Act Section 611, you can attempt to find out the verification method used by the CRA. If either party has the records you can request a copy under the FACTA act, SEC 312 (b) and (c).
Verifying your Issue Was Investigated
You can find out if the CRA was in contact with the creditor to verify information or if the electronic online system for complete and accurate reporting (e-Oscar) was used.
First, call the CRA and speak with someone to attempt to obtain the verification method. You can try to ask the agent outright and/or request the records sent to the creditor in reference to your dispute.
If the agent denies your request, you can also call the creditor and request this information directly from them.
Make sure to document who you talk to you at the creditor’s office and a get direct number if possible. Once you get the records you can inspect them for completeness and appropriateness. If the creditor has no record of the dispute, you will need to contact the CRA about the discrepancy.
If the creditor has no records of the dispute you can initiate a second dispute. This time, be sure to dispute with both the CRA and creditor. You can attempt to initiate the second dispute directly with the CRA by calling them. Inform the CRA the creditor has no records of the initial dispute. Cite FCRA 611 and request hard evidence goes back to the creditor. However, to ensure you have documentation of the second dispute, writing a letter is a more effective way to go.
Writing a Method of Verification Letter
When you write a method of verification letter the CRA you are writing must provide a response within 15 days of your request. You letter is asking that the documentation used to validate the dispute or to reopen/open another dispute. If the CRA initiates another investigation, they will have 30 days to investigate your claim.
Like any of letters you write to creditor and CRA’s, send them registered mail. This will confirm the organization receives the letter and the date of receipt. The date of receipt is important when considering the time limits the bureaus have to respond.
Example Letter Template
[First Name Last Name]
[City, State, Zip]
[Name of Credit Bureau]
[City, State, Zip]
Re: [Initial Dispute and Report Received in Response]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to request the method of verification for dispute initiated on [7/17/17] and the subsequent response received on [8/17/17] enclosed with this letter. [Insert optional statement, found below, here].
Please send the following information used to verify the validity of [identify item(s) by the name of source, such as creditor or tax court, and identify type of item, such as credit account, judgment, etc.]:
- The name of the original creditor
- The creditors address and telephone number
- The person’s name they verified the dispute with
- The documentation used to verify the dispute
In accordance with FCRA, Section 611, I am requesting this information to review for completeness and accuracy and appropriateness. In lieu of sending the information you can reopen the dispute and ensure a proper investigation is performed.
I would appreciate a timely response outlining the steps that will occur to resolve this matter. If I do not receive a response I will have no choice but to exercise my right under FRCA, Section 616, and pursue legal action.
Supporting Documentation: [List what you are enclosing]
If you have already taken the steps of contacting the creditor and you have the name and number of the person you spoke to, you can include this in your letter. For example,
I have spoken to [name of representative] a representative of [creditor name], on [date] in reference to my dispute. I was informed no information or supporting documentation has been received in regard to my dispute of the above item.
Again, use the optional paragraph if you have this information to fill in. But this is not necessary even if you do have the information.