Experian Fixes Messed Up Credit Report By Deleting Everything

Monique X. is trying to get a loan to consolidate her debts into a more affordable payment. She writes that she’s been careful with her credit history and knew that her credit score was adequate to get approved at her bank, “even with the economy the way it is.” That’s when she discovered that someone else’s accounts had been folded into hers, and that Experian’s solution to their error was as bad as the problem.

Recently, I went to a bank for a loan. I have a brand new truck that needs very little to be paid off. I’ve strived to make sure that my credit stayed at a fair or better score. I knew that even with the economy the way it is, I would be approved. Until I went to the bank, that is.

This bank pulls credit scores and reports from Experian. I sat in the Personal Banker’s office in shock as I reviewed the report. Out of everything on the report, 90% of it wasn’t my debt!! I immediately began calling the creditors. Most of what was on my report belonged to a Monique Y. Ok, we have the same first name, we both live in a small town. I thought it was a mistake on the credit bureau’s side.

Nine days later, on November 11th, I realized that several of the accounts held her name, but my social! I filed a police report that day. After fighting with creditors, I finally got someone at Experian to remove everything that wasn’t mine. I have the report. Everything that was placed by Y. was removed. This was done on the 27th of November.

After verifying that when the bank pulled my credit report again, these items wouldn’t show up, I applied for the loan. Now I don’t exist AT ALL on Experian’s radar! I have NO CREDIT! After talking to a girl at Experian today (didn’t get a name, apparently none that work there have one) I was informed that it would be 2 weeks before it would be settled. My information was deleted and would have to be re-keyed in.

I don’t have two weeks! The whole purpose for getting the loan was to consolidate bills. I have spinal surgery scheduled very soon, and I am trying to make sure we are financially sound before undergoing the knife. I was also hoping to be able to put food in our house and get my 4-year-old daughter a Christmas tree! Now I’m being told things will get done too late! If they are even done properly at all!

I asked the girl if it showed which of her co-workers deleted the information. Apparently nothing is time-stamped with a log-on name. I work in the I.T. Department of a company and everything that I touch is time-stamped with my name! How is it that someone with power like this remains anonymous in the system? The girl told me my request would be expedited, but nothing is ever expedited with credit bureaus. I need this loan. NOW! But apparently I don’t exist! What do I do now? I can’t spend my work day on the phone fixing this. I have to work. And this surgery cannot be postponed.

Below is some contact info for Experian in case you want to send a snail-mail version of an EECB to them, but unless someone can provide the private email address or office phone of an executive, your file may be back to normal before you hear back from anyone.

In the meantime, I would suggest first asking your bank if they’ll use one of the other two agencies for your credit history, especially if it’s obvious that the Experian one is defective. If they refuse, you might want to call local banks or credit unions and explain that your Experian credit report is blank, but the other two are valid, and try to find someone willing to lend to you.

Also, do any readers know about the legal issues around signing for a loan from a recovery bed? Can Monique talk to the bank and arrange for a Power of Attorney agreement or something in order to move ahead with the loan as soon as Experian has corrected its mistake?

Experian
701 Experian Parkway
Allen TX 75013
    – or -
475 Anton Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
+1-714-830-7000 (Phone)
714-830-2449 (Fax)

Donald A. (Don) Robert, CEO, Experian Group
Paul Brooks, CFO
Donald Girard, VP Public Affairs

Note that credit bureaus deliberately hide, remove, or change addresses in order to force customers to contact them over the phone or through their websites. MyFairCredit.com suggests you try sending them a letter through snail mail to their physical location in Allen, Texas, while Google Finance repeats the California address that Experian prints on their website.

Comments

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  1. TechnoDestructo says:

    How is it that someone with power like this remains anonymous in the system?

    Easy, they’re lying to you.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      Yep…

      The lady that said they have no knowledge of who access the profile is blatantly lying, as I, an industry security professional, would stake my career on the fact that every person who has touched a profile is noted, including the time, date, what terminal was used, what changes where made and probably a dozen other requirements.

  2. friday3 says:

    I sympathize with her, but Experian is in a rock in a hard place. You want things off, that are not yours, but the things that are to be on there. I know the OP is honest and would never lie, but I am guessing Experian and any other intelligent business needs to verify everything. This is not a 24 hour turnaround time. You are a victim of identity fraud. I would peruse the woman who used your SS#. I have no love for any credit bureau and think they all should be banned, but in this case they were not bad in what they did.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      They most certainly did screw up, if you don’t think that the financial institutions do not log the Who, What, When, Where and Why for every transaction submitted to the Credit Reporting entities, your kidding yourself there.

  3. aficionado says:

    Hardly surprising. I wish I could add helpful information.

  4. H3ion says:

    As long as the OP is competent and lucid (not under large doses of mind-numbing drugs) she should be able to sign anything from the recovery bed and have it upheld. Most hospitals have a notary available somewhere on site, probably in billing, so that won’t be a problem either if required. Finally, a power of attorney may work but most banks don’t like them very much. If one is used, it should be limited by time and powers. The OP should definitely have a durable power of attorney and a living will, especially if there’s a small child involved. State-specific forms are available online.

    If the OP is married, a spouse would be the logical person to hold the power. If not, any one the OP trusts implicitly.

    • Anathema777 says:

      Hmm. Which story did this comment migrate from?

      • wickedpixel says:

        this one.

        Also, do any readers know about the legal issues around signing for a loan from a recovery bed? Can Monique talk to the bank and arrange for a Power of Attorney agreement or something in order to move ahead with the loan as soon as Experian has corrected its mistake?

      • Winter White says:

        Chris (the author of the actual post) asked questions about power of attorney and signing off on the loan while recovering from major surgery.

        As far as this goes, I had my identity stolen twice and each took a minimum of four MONTHS to clean up. The fact that she got anything removed in a matter of DAYS is astounding to me. But if her Experian report is bad, then it’s likely the other two are too, and she won’t be getting this loan anytime soon until she gets not just the debt taken off her credit report, but until she deals with the actual creditors to prove the debt being racked up on her social isn’t hers.

        It’s not enough to just remove it from the credit report…you need to also stop technically owing money for someone else.

    • Daemon Xar says:

      I agree with H3ion. At least in the two states where I practice, she should be able to sign binding contracts unless she’s under the influence of pretty powerful painkillers (and even then, the bank would probably have to figure out that she was in order to object). Otherwise, a short-term power of attorney isn’t a bad idea, particularly if assigned to an actual attorney with malpractice insurance coverage and legal/ethical duties.

      Depending on her income, she might be able to get civil legal services to help (though with current state budgets, most legal aid programs are being cut too, at exactly the wrong time).

    • floraposte says:

      If it’s one of the simpler spine surgeries, like disc fusion (and for Monique’s sake I hope it is), she’s got a good chance of being well enough to sign stuff the next day.

  5. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    Now how do we get them do completely erase our credit reports when we want them to?

    • rioja951 - Why, oh why must I be assigned to the vehicle maintenance when my specialty is demolitions? says:

      Easy, you only require to change your profession. Start selling soap.

      Thank you, Mr. Durden.

  6. chiieddy says:

    Don’t forget to clear the errors out of the other reporting agencies prior to letting the bank pull the reports.

  7. ReverendBrown says:

    Allen, TX? That’s just south of me. No wonder I get this feeling of dread and despair anytime I drive through there. At least I can knock on their doors if I ever have issue with them. I’ll get me coat.

    • AstroPig7 says:

      I just got married in Allen. Our marriage will be cursed!

    • Microxot says:

      You can forget about walking up to the building. The only place they have that ability is in Costa Mesa. All you will get at Experian is a Guard telling you to pick up a business card and to call the number listed or send a letter to the address listed.

      Besides, half that building is pretty empty after all the layoffs Experian has had over the past year.

  8. supersat says:

    There’s an alternate “agent for service of process” address that might get their attention if the Costa Mesa address doesn’t work out, especially if you send it certified:

    http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowAllList?QueryCorpNumber=C2218743

  9. sayahh says:

    I wonder if the OP’s SSN starts with a zero. I remember reading that the social security numbers in American Samoa (or another US territory) only use eight numbers instead of nine (XXX-XX-XXXX), and that some banks or computers automatically tacked on a zero in the front, and Experian did not (could not) distinguish between these two individuals. People with SSN that start with the number zero usually live on the east coast. Unbeknownst to them, credit (and debt) info from those people in the territories are now showing up and their report, for better or worse, but definitely confusing and messy.

  10. Blueskylaw says:

    Dear Consumerist:

    Pray tell, how do you pick just the right photos/pictures to go with the story?
    The one posted with this story actually made me chuckle out loud.

  11. FDCPAGuy says:

    It’s not likely she now has NO XPN (experian) file at all. Her bank should have someone run an XPN social search to make sure they are pulling using the best data possible. Sometimes when credit is mixed and then fixed via a standardization it can be too aggressive leading to credit coming back only if it’s pulled with exactly the same (best) data the bureau has.

  12. sarahq says:

    Note that credit bureaus deliberately hide, remove, or change addresses…

    I find this the most egregious part of this story: that these incredibly powerful entities are able to hide (a portion of) their contact info, preventing customers from using certified mail, from maintaining a complete record of all correspondence, etc.

  13. LESSTHANKIND says:

    The bank can pull a report from Equifax or Transunion instead, especially given the circumstances. If they’re not a subscriber of either (unlikely, but possible), they may accept a report you pull right in front of them.

    With regard to the “missing” information, nothing is ever actually deleted by credit bureaus, but “suppressed.” The information is still there somewhere, albeit on a different system. There will be no rekeying necessary. Just like you’re routinely told it will take 90 days before an item can be corrected on your reports. Hogwash. They just like to make you wait, because as a consumer, you’re not their customer, and therefore not their priority. Their subscribers–your creditors–are.

  14. DoctorMD says:

    These companies are libel bureaus, with immunity. They should be 100% liable for any inaccuracy on any report. Wasted time, higher interest rates etc.

  15. savvyshopper says:

    Heads up Chris, and OP “Monique”…. If Experian is reporting the fraud, the other bureaus might be too (especially if SSN is involved), so that is probably not a viable quick solution, if the bank is amenable to approving/denying based on another credit report. Also – chances are you will have to go through the dispute process with them as well.

    No fun for a person with nothing going on – and even worse for a person with a 4 year old and spinal surgery to worry about. Good luck.

  16. diddy0071 says:

    well my credit is very screwed. I wish they would delete my history! Clean Slate!

  17. Microxot says:

    FYI, If you send a letter to Allen, Tx, it gets scanned into a database that is then transmitted to people in Santiago, Chile.

  18. Celesta says:

    Dear Consumerist… This is to inform you that at the moment you are my fourth most loved person in the world (after my husband and parents).

    I agonized for two months to find a way to contact Experian, because my bank refused me a mortgage until Experian would correct a mistake in my records (they also reported two different SSNs on my loans, but in my case it was not an identity theft, rather they mistakenly reported my student ID as an alternative SSN). I could not find a way to get through Experian’s automated phone lines, because they only deal with you if you have bought a report. I could not buy a report, because they would say they could not verify my identity! And the bank would say it was my issue. I even contacted Federal Trade Commission, who told me it would take 30-45 days to sort out a dispute after I send my papers to Experian by snail mail. In the meantime it is 3 days before my house purchase agreement expires.
    It was a vicious cycle until I came across your blog posting. I called the 714- number you listed and I got through to “escalation”, which was very helpful and immediately agreed to correct my account details. I keep my fingers crossed that by the end of day tomorrow bank will be able to verify my identity (please, don’t ever go to Chase… These guys did not accept my SSN card or verification of my identity from social security administration and my employer). If it will be ok, I can witness that you saved my mortgage. xxx