In a recent Los Angeles Times column (Sunday, February 15, 2015) someone wrote into Liz Weston about how she applied for a store credit card six months earlier, and apparently the creditor input the wrong address from her application.
When she called the store to make her first payment, she was told she needed to wait until her card arrived and had her account number before she could make a payment. But due to the wrong address the card and later statements never showed up and it was referred to collection.
She wanted to know what grounds she had to dispute this.
I found the reply satisfying. The writer was told the Fair Credit Billing Act requires a creditor to notify the account holder their rights to dispute errors. In addition statements are required to be sent when there is activity, such as a payment due. Based on the wrong address none of these requirements appear to have been met.
On that basis she could argue that the lender was in violation of the federal law by mailing to the wrong address, and her credit score was therefore damaged.
Once the store was notified of the error of the wrong address, it should have called off the collection and fixed the problem.
At this point it would be appropriate to contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at www.ConsumerFinance.gov for help in resolving the dispute with the creditor.
In addition it was recommended that she contact the credit bureaus and order copies of her reports and dispute any negative information.
More information and help can be found at www.Credit.com which was created by Gerri Detweiler. The last step would be to hire a consumer law attorney that can be found at www.NACA.com if the lender refuses to remove any derogatory information.
Hopefully you never need this information, but here it is in case you do.