Sometimes banks and other credit furnishers will get sloppy when they report individual’s information to credit reporting agencies. For example, I had a case once where a father and a son had the same name, but with different generational codes. The father was John Smith Senior (“Father”) and the son was John Smith, III (“Son”).

One day, Father opened a line of credit with a bank under his name. All the information in the application for the account was the Father’s information. The Father used this credit card for several years, until one day he decided to stop paying off the credit card when it had $14,000 still outstanding.

Eventually, the bank ended up charging off this $14,000, but instead of reporting this horribly negative mark on the Father’s credit, the bank began reporting it on the Son’s credit.

Soon thereafter, Son applied to get a home loan to remodel his house. The lender notified him that he was rejected because of a credit card that had a substantial charge off. Son was shocked, frustrated, and confused because he was financially very responsible and had paid off every credit card. After doing his own investigation and examining his credit reports, Son realized that it was his dad’s bank account that was being reported as his.

Son called the bank and notified them of their mistake, however, the bank said that they were not mistaken and that they would continue to report the account. Next Father called the bank and notified them that it was not Son’s account, but Father’s account. However, the bank again said that it was Son’s and continued reporting it as such.

Son even disputed the bank’s reporting to the credit reporting agencies, but again the bank told the credit reporting agencies that the account belonged to Son.

Feeling like there was no way out, Son finally reached out to me to help him remove the account. After filing a lawsuit against the credit reporting agencies and the bank, we were finally able to get the account removed from his credit report. Not only that, but Son also received a healthy five figures to compensate him for his monetary damages, as well as his emotional distress.

If you are a victim of a background check identity mixup, you need dedicated lawyers on your side to stick up for your interests. Barthel Legal is a law firm that is dedicated to representing consumers. We represent clients at no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer. If you would like to get advice on what next steps you should take, request a free consultation.