A credit dispute letter is an individuals' method of challenging a negative mark on their credit report. In this letter you must identify the challenged item and the reason you are disputing it.
Frequently reasons are; item is out of date, account is paid in full, not my account, information is wrong and more. Upon receipt of a valid letter the bureaus will investigate the item.
During and investigation the credit bureau will contact the lender or collection agency that made the negative mark and verify the debt and its dates and amounts. If the account can not be verified then it must be removed from your report.
Typically investigations will result in the removal of a bad credit item. This happens because many businesses are just unwilling to spend the resources to verify disputed accounts.
It is rumored that during an investigation public records are not checked. This means that there is a high rate of success in removing judgments and foreclosures. You can also hire a credit repair service to dispute items on your credit report for you. This can be very helpful if you are challenging multiple bad credit items.
Frequently letters will result in the credit bureaus requesting more information from you. In addition you must send a letter to each credit bureau.
Thus just staying organized can be a task in itself. Many services can use advanced techniques in case a bad credit item is verified. These techniques include; escalated dispute information requests, debt validation, and creditor direct intervention.
Frequently these services will have lawyers on their staff which will enable you to go to court if it is required. Also with a service you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against a collection agency for illegal debt collection practices.
It is your responsibility to remove inaccurate or unverifiable bad credit marks from your report. There are estimates that 1 in every 4 Americans has a bad credit mark that is inaccurate or unverifiable on their credit report.
In sum, dispute any inaccurate or unverifiable bad credit marks on your report. You do not have to wait 7 years for a mark to be removed from your credit.