I'm on the same side as you and really want to nail these guys for the way they're poisoning credit reports. However, I'm at a loss as to how to get around this particular issue.
Their argument is not that they made a mistake in reporting the way they did on my report. They are taking the position that they were following instructions that were set down for them in writing, which could possibly kill my claim that they were willfully and maliciously reporting incorrect information - and there goes any potential for FCRA awards over and above actual damages.
What tack can be used to discredit the CDIA guidelines? I've been told that IRS guidelines are not persuasive evidence (which in my opinion would be THE authority on financial issues). So I'm trying to track down anything that would persuade a court that they should NOT have followed the CDIA guidelines when reporting. Ideas anyone?
Read Len Bennett's testimony, it gives you the information you need. Here's how I would attack it:
Your Honor, I allege the following:
1. The Consumer Credit Reporting Industry has adopted a certain standard called the Metro2 reporting standard for investigating consumer disputes to the contents of a consumer's credit file.
2. That credit is an important factor of modern life is undeniable, and that accurate credit files are a vital part of that fact is undeniable and has been borne out in Congressional Findings.
3. FCRA requires investigation of a disputed item in a consumer's credit file when requested by a consumer.
4. There are two different types of disputes - disputes as to Form and Disputes as to Substance. A Dispute as to Form is a question of whether a Credit File accurately contains what the creditor has in their own files. A Dispute as to Substance is a question of whether what is in the Creditor's file is, in fact, accurate.
A creditor could report to a CRA that Your Honor is a Cannibal. The truth of that statement is not a concern of Metro2, only whether it accurately reflects what the creditor's files indicate. As long as the creditor's file indicates that Your Honor is a cannibal, the CRA will insist that it has been verified that Your Honor is a cannibal.
5. CRA's only investigate Disputes as to Form. CRA's do NOT investigate disputes as to Substance.
6. FCRA does not make any distinction between the two forms on investigation. in fact, FCRA does not even mention different forms on investigation - it merely states "investigate".
7. Because CRA's do not as a matter of policy investigate as to Matters of Substance, I contend that any investigation done bya CRA is incomplete and therefore inaccurate, and in complete defiance of the legislative intent of FCRA. The Metro2 Standard was adopted so as to appear to give as minimal compliance with FCRA as possible. It fails in that efort because it is not designed to investigate as to Substance.
8. The creditor in this instance was notified by me CMRRR on XX/XX/XXXX that the trade line they are reporting is inaccurate and disputed. they have refused to correct the trade line and continue to report it as inaccurate in violation of FCRA.
9. The creditor in this instance was notified by me CMRRR on XX/XX/XXXX that the trade line they are reporting is in accurate and disputed. they have refused to correct the trade line and continue to fail to report it as disputed in violation of FCRA.
10. For that reason, I am seeking $XXXX in damages against the Creditor.
This is how you pursue inaccuracies in a CRA file - by suing the source. CRA's have been able to successfully argue in Courts that Metro2 satisfies FCRA and the Courts have bought it. It will take better legal minds than ours to overturn that mindset.