Equifax Refuses To Fix Credit Report, Despite Overwhelming Evidence

Equifax continues to screw up Philip’s credit rating by reporting a late payment on a mortgage that was satisfied in full over a year ago.

He’s sent over 9 letters, of increasing vitriol, asking, begging, cajoling, demanding and haranguing Equifax to please fix his credit report. He’s sent letters from Washington Mutual clearing his name.

“It defies belief that anyone with enough brains to find his or her way to work each day would be stupid enough to make the same obvious blunder month after month after month in the face of monthly submissions of documents proving the mistake” he writes in one letter. “Perhaps you should change the name to Equifalse or to Antifacts,” he writes in another.

Philip says the response to his latest letter was quite rude, his last was rather rude, “So I take some satisfaction in believing that even if I have failed to get Equifax to perform properly, at least I annoyed someone in the firm.”

17 February 2006

Equifax Information Services
Post Office Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374
Dear Sir or Madam:

You have two erroneous items in your report of my credit, inaccurately lowering my credit score.

1. You falsely assert I was delinquent in paying one of my credit accounts last month. Not true. In fact, I paid every one of my credit accounts on time. The only delinquent payment associated with me for years has been my estranged wife’s mortgage payments, and that mortgage was paid in full months ago. You have duplicated obsolete information that was misleading in the first place. Your own chart, obtained through Privacy Guard, reflects no such late payment.
2. You assert that I made four credit applications within the past month. Wrong. I have made a total of two applications – both to mortgage lenders – within the past year. I have applied for no other credit anywhere, nor do I intend within the near future. Any other application was made without my knowledge or consent.

Please correct your false information and raise my score accordingly. You have simply carried last month’s scores without reflecting any change. This conduct is shockingly irresponsible.

Thank you for what I hope will be your prompt attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

Philip C.


24 August 2006


Here are only the most recent three letters I have written to Equifax Information Services in an as-yet unsuccessful attempt to get this firm to correct a proven falsehood.

To date, Equifax has neither corrected nor explained this situation. It continues to declare every month that I was delinquent on one account, despite the fact that I was not delinquent, as the two other credit-reporting firms confirm. Surely, companies who charge fees to supply accurate credit information should be held to some standard of conduct. By supplying false information to its clients, Equifax cheats its customers, who pay for accurate information. By falsely accusing me of a payment delinquency, Equifax injures me financially. This kind of reckless and either incompetent or malicious conduct is unacceptable, and the perpetrators of such acts ought to be held responsible for them. If I were to libel another person, I should be subject to legal action. How much more damaging it is when a firm presenting itself as an objective purveyor of factual information libels someone – and takes fees to do it.

My experience suggests that Equifax is unable or unwilling to do the job for which it accepts payment, that it is in unable or unwilling to stop spreading a gratuitous falsehood about me. Why should Equifax be allowed to cheat its customers and blacken my name without fearing any consequence? Why should it be allowed to arrogantly shrug off complaints about its ineptitude or dishonesty? Why should it be exempt from the rules of decent conduct?

It seems unlikely that I am the only victim of such egregious callousness. Perhaps the Congress should look into the carryings-on of this self-appointed keeper of personal reputation, this discreditable credit agency.

Although I had copied you on all these letters, I refrained until now from actually bothering you with this business, hoping I could resolve the problem without your help. Plainly, this hope was in vain, and I would be grateful for your attention to this continuing problem.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Very truly yours,

Philip C.


18 September 2006

Dear Sir or Madam:

Here is my monthly attempt to get you to report the truth. You continue to issue false information about me, despite my regular submissions disproving your information. Like clockwork, every month you write:

Payment history : Last reported month, you missed a payment (or were derogatory) on 1 account(s).

Wrong. I was not late. Even worse, this time you sent me a form response saying the creditor confirms the accuracy of its information. My argument is not with the former creditor; it is with you. The creditor is correct; Equifax is wrong. You are citing the (former) creditor, but you are contradicting what this firm actually is saying.

The creditor confirms, as I have informed you repeatedly, that my account is closed, finished, satisfied. Yes, my estranged wife was late in making the last payment – a year ago – but the payment was made, the mortgage was satisfied, the account was closed. I cannot be late on an account that was paid in full and closed.

The very information you quoted to me in your response proves this point. Rather misleadingly, it says: “Current status – 30-59 Days Past Due,” but if you read to the end of the line, it adds these crucial words: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (Caps yours) – Account Paid/Zero Balance.

Account Paid/ Zero Balance. You get it? It means the account is paid, that I owe nada, nothing, zip, zero. If an account is paid and closed, I can’t be late in paying on it. If I have a zero balance on an account, I can’t be late in paying that, either.

I have sent you copy after of the documents showing that the mortgage is satisfied. You have ignored them. Now I am sending you a copy of your document proving that I am not late on this account. Do you intend to ignore your own paperwork, too? Every month you libel me. Stop it, and stop cheating your clients by taking their money and giving them false information. The other two credit-rating agencies seem to be able to understand the situation. Are you less intelligent or more vindictive, more careless or less conscientious? Whatever the difference, your competitors get it right and you – despite letter after letter showing your error – consistently get it wrong.

I would appreciate some minimal effort on your part to be truthful after a year of proving your information to be false. What does it take to get you to behave with the tiniest degree of responsibility?

Very truly yours,

Philip C.


14 October 2006

Equifax Information Services
Post Office Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374

To Some Responsible Person of at Least Normal Intellect:

Every month for nearly a year, I have pointed out to you that you incorrectly declared me to have been late in paying my mortgage with Washington Mutual. Every month, I have reminded you that this mortgage was paid in full last year, and, therefore, I could not have been late in paying it any month this year. I repeatedly have included proof that the mortgage was settled in full. Nonetheless, month after month after month, you have repeated this inaccuracy, whether through arrogant dishonesty or breathtaking stupidity.

Worse, you have compounded this lie or blunder, whichever it might be, by saying you have no choice but to report what Washington Mutual reports to you. Unfortunately for your position, Washington Mutual has not been reporting that I was late. To the contrary, Washington Mutual has been reporting that the mortgage was satisfied completely.

What is more, your own report states that the mortgage was paid in full, with zero balance remaining. True, this statement is preceded by the remark that the last payment was 30 to 59 days late. This juxtaposition of sentences might briefly confuse a school child, but any normal child quickly either would ask someone more informed or would figure out for him- or herself that the final payment may have been late, but was made, and, consequently, no further payments would be required. This child also would conclude that I cannot be late in making payments when no further payments are due. If not for the child-labor laws, I might be tempted to suggest you consider hiring a child to explain this simple and obvious truth to your staff.

Enclosed is a copy of a letter from Washington Mutual attesting that it has informed you that your report of my being late is erroneous. It is false, inaccurate, incorrect, wrong, untrue. Your argument that your monthly report reflected information from Washington Mutual was absurd in the past; to repeat now would be to defy reason and demonstrate a willful disregard for the facts.

Correct your records now. Stop cheating your clients who pay you for accurate reports. Stop libeling me by disseminating obvious falsehoods about me. Your appalling failure to perform at even minimal levels of competence has gone on far too long.

Philip C.


29 September 2006

Equifax Information Services
Post Office Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374

Dear Sir or Madam:

It defies belief that anyone with enough brains to find his or her way to work each day would be stupid enough to make the same obvious blunder month after month after month in the face of monthly submissions of documents proving the mistake. I simply cannot reach any conclusion other than this monthly libel of me is a deliberate, vindictive falsehood, and perhaps it should be treated as the crime that apparently is.

I pay every one of my accounts on time every month. The other two credit-rating bureaus confirm this fact. Every month, however, Equifalse says I was late on one account. Every month I send you proof of your error. Early this month, the creditor you falsely asserted was reporting me late also wrote to you denying your accusation, and declaring that my account had been paid in full, was closed satisfactory and that I owed nothing on this account.

Your response? You repeated the same infuriating lie. If you follow previous practice, you will respond to this letter by repeating your other cherished the lie, that the creditor made you do it, despite having a letter from the creditor telling you were wrong.

What must I do to get you to tell the truth, to stop you from cheating the customers who pay you for accurate reports but who get falsehoods instead? How can you justify this conduct? How can you justify remaining in operation?

For the record, which already is voluminous, I paid all my credit-card bills on time in full last month. I paid my current mortgage, with Pentagon Federal, on time. The only other mortgage I ever had – the one which you say I pay late each month — was satisfied in full and closed last year, and the mortgage company sent you confirmation of this fact.

I wasn’t late in January 2006 because the mortgage had been satisfied. You reported I was late paying in January.
I wasn’t late in February 2006 for the same reason. You reported I was late paying in February.
I wasn’t late in March. You reported I was.
I wasn’t late in April or in May or June, July, August, September or October. Every month I sent you proof of your mistake, and every month you arrogantly, viciously repeated your attack on my personal reputation. Now even though the creditor you assert is forcing you to make this report has denied the accuracy of your report, you still go on, undeterred by facts. Making this continuing campaign of disinformation even more bizarre is that you maintain I am late in paying this account, while elsewhere in your own report, you describe this item as “PAID ACCOUNT/ZERO BALANCE.”

Evidently, your organization has no respect for the truth, no concern for what is accurate or fair, no interest in doing your job adequately. Evidently, you have no sense of responsibility and no shame. Your continued operation is a disgrace.

Although I have little reason to believe it will do any good whatsoever, I have, once again, enclosed a copy of the official letter attesting that my previous mortgage has been satisfied and nothing more is owed on it and a more recent letter from this mortgage company declaring that it had written to you “to correct the reporting of this payment as late.” Also enclosed are copies of the findings of the other credit-rating services, both of which report – accurately – that I had paid all my accounts in full last month.

In the interest of fairness, something I do not expect you to understand, I acknowledge that Washington Mutual Home Loans did warn me that it may take a credit-reporting agency 60 to 90 days to make this correction. Given the outrageous egregiousness of your performance, however, I do not think it acceptable to expect me to wait two to three months for you to correct a ridiculous blunder that has been brought to your attention monthly for nearly a year. I already have waited far too long to get you to do your job adequately. You owe me an immediate correction, an immediate apology and you owe refunds to every client who paid you for a report on me, because you did not provide the service for which you were paid.

Philip C.


19 July 2006

Equifax Information Service
Post Office Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374

Dear Sir or Madam,
Your company is remarkable, even astonishing. Few organizations are able to overlook facts as consistently as Equifax. Perhaps you should change the name to Equifalse or to Antifacts.

Month after month after month I write to you and show you that I have not been delinquent on any account. Month after month after month you continue to report falsely that “Last reported month, you missed a payment (or were derogatory) on 1 account(s).”

No, no, no. I paid every single one of my credit-card accounts on time, as your own records show. The mortgage on my house was paid off LAST YEAR. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE LATE ON PAYING A MORTGAGE AFTER IT HAS BEEN SETTLED, AND THERE ARE NO OTHER ACCOUNTS IN MY NAME. As I paid all my credit cards on time, paid off the mortgage, and there are no other accounts, LOGICALLY, THEREFORE, I CANNOT HAVE BEEN LATE IN PAYING ONE OF MY ACCOUNTS.

How do you justify this incompetence, or is it malicious dishonesty? You have raised, at a painfully slow rate, my credit score closer to what it ought to be, although you acknowledge no other changes in my record to explain the long-overdue score change. While your score remains the lowest given to me by the three credit bureaus, this month’s number is an improvement, but how do you justify making this improvement – inadequate as it is – without making any corrections in the overall report? I suppose it is all part of your policy of steadfastly ignoring facts.

You malign me and cheat your customers when you take money from them for accurate reports but provide inaccurate information. This behavior, especially when carried on for so disgracefully extended a period, is inexcusable.

I would be grateful for an honest report, the least the consumer and your customers have the right to expect. Although it should not be necessary, I have enclosed yet another copy of the official acknowledgment of the satisfaction of my mortgage.

Very truly yours,

Philip C.

CC: The Honorable Arlen Specter, United States Senate
The Honorable Tim Holden, United States House of Representatives


17 December 2006

Equifax Information Services
Post Office.Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Dear Sir or Madam:

You are impossible.

Finally, after months of calling to your attention that you were reporting me late on a mortgage that long before had been paid in full, after months of you insisting –falsely – that you were reporting what the lender told you – you finally reported the truth. You never admitted to your continuing blunder, but you acknowledged the letter setting you straight that the lender had sent you at my request. It took nearly a year, but you finally corrected this libel, or so I thought.

Perhaps it was na

ve of me to assume that this development would end my problems with Equifalse. I really should have known better.

The only account you identified – incorrectly –as being late was the mortgage on my house in Harrisburg. You now correctly report that this mortgage has been paid in full, yet, in defiance of all the facts, you continue to say:

Payment history : Last reported month, you missed a payment (or were derogatory) on 1 account(s).

No. I was not late on any account. Every account you list is reported in your own statement as being paid on time. How can you continue to say I was late when every account was paid on time? Can anyone be this stupid and be able to find his or her way to work, to dress him or herself?

In contrast to your disgraceful buffoonery, this is what Experian reported about me this month:

Payment history : Last reported month, you paid 100% of your accounts on time.

TransUnion reported:

Payment history : Last reported month, you paid all of your accounts on time.

Only Equifalse botches this report month after month. Your performance is a scandal. How can you justify your continuation in business? Look at your own report. Every account you list is identified as having been paid satisfactorily, so from where does this alleged late payment arise? Hum? If I pay every account on time, I cannot be late on one of them, can I? Think carefully; I know it’s difficult, but try to concentrate. If any account is paid on time, it can’t be late. Understand? If all the accounts are paid on time, then none of them can be late. Do you see? For me to have been late on one account last month, one account would have to be shown as Not being paid on time, but as your statement reveals, no account was reported as being late. Every account was reported as having been paid on time. Therefore, I cannot have been late on one of them. Get it? Do I need to explain again? Please let me know if any words or concepts used here are too complex for you, and I shall endeavor to clarify.

Your report is wrong, inexcusably wrong. Fix it, you damned liars.

Very truly yours,

Philip C.

CC: The Honorable Arlen Specter, United States Senate
The Honorable Tim Holden, United States House of Representatives


8 March 2007

Equifax Information Services
Post Office Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374

Dear Sir or Madam:

Every month you report that I was late in paying a bill that does not exist, despite having been informed repeatedly of this fact by the former creditor. For more than a year, I have been trying to get you to correct this egregious error. Now you have aggravated the problem by sending me a letter contradicting facts in your possession.

Evidently, my estranged wife was late one month in paying the mortgage on the house at [redacted] Pennsylvania [redacted]. This mortgage, held by Washington Mutual, was paid in full at the end of 2005. Washington Mutual has sent you several letters confirming this assertion. I have sent you several copies of the satisfaction-of-mortgage statement. Nonetheless, you continue to report each month that I had been late in paying this mortgage during the previous month. Obviously, I cannot be late in paying a mortgage that has been paid in full. The history may show that I had been late in the past, but it is not accurate to say I continue to be late.

When I pointed out these facts to you, you replied only that you cannot change the report, as you rely upon the creditor for your information. This assertion only compounded your error, adding falsehood to inaccuracy. Washington Mutual has not been telling you I was late every month last year. To the contrary, it repeatedly has told you I was not late because I owed Washington Mutual nothing. It is impossible to continue to be late in paying a bill after the bill has been satisfied completely.

This letter is at least the ninth I have sent you, along with corroborating documents, in an effort to get you to tell the truth. The latest result of all this communication is a letter from you containing obvious falsehoods. You write:

“The information you are questioning on the following accounts has been previously verified as being accurately reported in accordance with the FCRA.”

False. Leaving aside the gross grammatical errors and syntactical flaws of this statement, it is wrong on the facts. The creditor repeatedly has informed you that the account has been paid in full, and nothing is owed on it. In contrast to your assertion, the information you reported has been proved to be incorrect. Indeed, your own report contradicts itself. You – finally – added the information that the mortgage had been paid in full, but you have retained the assertion that I was late in paying every month since the mortgage was satisfied, an obvious impossibility.

“In response to you, we requested that you send any information that you may have to substantiate your claim that certain information in your credit report is incorrect. Now we have received another request to verify the same information without any additional documentation as requested.”

False. I repeatedly sent you copies of the statement of mortgage satisfaction and copies of the letter Washington Mutual sent Equifalse declaring that the mortgage had been satisfied completely. What is more, I began including these documents in my letters to you before you requested them. You already had them in your possession before asking for them. Nonetheless, I repeatedly sent them to you again, and you received several letters verifying my statements directly from Washington Mutual.

“Any further request for verification, on the following items preciously verified, will go unanswered unless additional documentation is received.”

This statement is the best of all. I actually do not much care if you ever answer any of my letters, as your responses are, at best, irrelevant and now seem to have moved beyond what might have been innocent incompetence to outright dishonesty. All I ask is that you report my information correctly; you do not have to correspond with me. Frankly, I am not really much interested in anything you have to say beyond the acknowledgment of your continuing blunder.

What makes this last assertion of yours even more delicious is that you proceed to name two items that have nothing to do with the subject. You refer to Capital One 4305xxxxxxxxxxxxx and Collect America 177102xxxxxxxxx. I believe these two items were the subjects of completely unrelated errors that have been corrected. In the past, you reported I was in collection for a medical bill and had failed to pay a credit-card bill, but you corrected both those errors. I should not have been sent to collection for the medical bill, as the alleged creditor confirmed, and this item was removed from my credit history in 2005. I had, in fact, paid the credit-card bill in full and on time, as the card issuer confirmed to you, and this item was removed from my history in 2006. I have not raised either of these matters with you since you fixed the incorrect reports on them.

What I have been writing to you about for more than a year is your continued, false assertion that I was late in paying one of my bills every single month when I have not been late in paying any bill within in this time. So far as I have been able to construe, you are referring to the closed, satisfied, settled mortgage from Washington Mutual. I have identified the subject in every letter to you. That you would respond to me after all this time as if I were discussing two earlier, unrelated, long-settled mistakes and not the current one I clearly identified in my letters is absurd. It either is incompetence as staggering as I ever have witnessed or completely dishonest.

This is the truth, please try to pay attention: my mortgage from Washington Mutual on the property at 1423 North Front Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17102 was paid in full in 2005. I was not – and cannot have been – late making any payments on this mortgage after it was paid in full. No payments ever are due on a mortgage after it is satisfied. Once the bill is paid completely, there is nothing more to pay. Consequently, I cannot have been late. Your history may show that my estranged wife was late in making the last payment, but she made the payment, nonetheless, and, therefore, neither she nor I ever could have been late on this mortgage again. Yet, you report every month that I was late. Wrong. More than just wrong, it is impossible. Your own reports list all my accounts and identifies every one as having been paid in full or being paid as agreed. Not one is reported as being late. Yet, your summary, month after month after month, declares that I paid one of my bills late last month. How can you not grasp the obvious, fundamental contradiction? Either a bill is paid in full or being paid as agreed or it is late. It cannot simultaneously be paid on time and late.

To avoid, or at least reduce, the chances that you again will profess never to have received any documentation supporting my statements, I again am including a copy of the mortgage-satisfaction declaration and a copy of one of several letters from Washington Mutual reaffirming that I owe Washington Mutual nothing more. Interestingly, the letter apologizes to me, even though this infuriating situation is not the fault of Washington Mutual. It is the fault of Equifalse, but I do not expect an apology from you any time soon, nor do I even require one. I just want you to do your job. Stop lying about me. Stop cheating your customers by taking payments for providing accurate information and supplying falsehoods instead.

Please correct your records.

Very truly yours,

Philip Michael Clark

CC: Rep. Barney Frank, United States House of Representatives


If ya can’t beat ’em, annoy ’em. — BEN POPKEN