Consumer Rights On Vsam1040 Chicago Llc

Speaker 1:

Please welcome to the Law Talk Show today with Attorney Taylor. Good morning, Taylor. How are you doing today?

Taylor Kosla:

I'm doing well. Thank you so much for having me on the show again today.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I'm glad so, because you're here today. I understand today, Mike, he's absent because of he have some issues to do, right? We one-on-one today.

Taylor Kosla:

One-on-one, yes. And I'm really excited about today's show. Normally we talk about car accidents, but today we're going to talk a little bit about consumer rights, which I think will be very informative for the audience.

Speaker 1:

Right, yes. My big question is why credit report is important topic? Because a lot of people, they don't pay attention about credit score and then you have big impact when they have a debt or low credit score. This is a very interesting issues today. [foreign language 00:01:07]. Yes, and plus we bring up this issue and there's lot of questions we don't understand and a lot of people, they concerned about the credit history and credit score. The first question is what is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Taylor Kosla:

All right. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, it's a federal law that ensures that information in your credit file is accurate, fair, and it protects certain information. Our firm utilizes this statute to bring cases on behalf of consumers who have inaccurate information on your credit report. Now, the unfortunate reality is that usually people don't know that there's inaccurate information on their credit report until it's too late. They wait until they go to take out a loan for a car or mortgage, a house, and then they get a higher interest rate on the loan and they're denied the loan and they come to us in a panic saying, "Hey, this information is on my credit report and it's not accurate. What do I do?" Our firm utilizes the fair credit reporting act to bring suit against the credit bureaus and the company that's furnishing that inaccurate information to the credit bureaus.

Speaker 1:

Okay. All right. [foreign language 00:02:46]. Yes, that's a very important point. Even me, I encounter some problem about a credit score as well, but I have no clue where should I go? And you just mentioned that's a federal law, right?

Taylor Kosla:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't mandate by the federal law when you own some credit card?

Taylor Kosla:

There's two different laws. You could have a state law. That would be, we're in Illinois, so the state of Illinois can enact its own laws. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law. It's the same law that applies to everyone in the United States.

Speaker 1:

Yes. That's what I now want to emphasize, because of credit bureau they have, because that's a state law. They had to report accurately.

Taylor Kosla:

Federal law.

Speaker 1:

Federal law.

Taylor Kosla:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Federal law-

Taylor Kosla:

Under federal law, the credit bureaus have to report accurate information, yes.

Speaker 1:

[foreign language 00:05:49]. Tyler federal law. Okay. Thank you for your answer. Okay. Who is protected under the Fair Credit Report Act?

Taylor Kosla:

Because it's federal law, everyone is, which is great. Everyone from the East Coast to the West Coast. If you have inaccurate information, you can take action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. And the reason Congress did this is because it's so important. Information on your credit report is relied on to get jobs, to buy homes, cars. If that information isn't right, you might have a lower credit score. It plays such a vital role in people's lives, that that's why Congress said, "Hey, we need to create a law that will protect everyone in the United States." Now there might be some states with their own additional protections in addition to the federal law, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act applies to everyone in the United States.

Speaker 1:

Okay. [foreign language 00:07:05]. Yes, now we understand that's federal law and that's approved by the Congress, right?

Taylor Kosla:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Okay. That's very good. Next question I want to know, what happened when you win a Fair Credit Report case?

Taylor Kosla:

Right, once you hire us, at no cost to you, we file a case on your behalf. We have a track record of settling with the defendants about one to two months after filing suit. This is a pretty quick turnaround, especially in the legal realm, and the reason that settlement is pushed so quickly is because of how damaging that information on your credit report can be. The defendants, once they actually realize what's inaccurate, they are pretty willing to settle the case. What is great, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, is the damages that a consumer is entitled to. You're entitled to statutory damages, which are between zero and $1,000. In sum, if a defendant violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to up to $1,000.

However, in addition to that, you're entitled to actual damages. Actual damages is money out of your pocket as a result of the inaccuracy. For example, the inaccurate information is on your credit report, you dispute it, it's not fixed and then you applied for a credit card. You were denied that credit card, or maybe you got an astronomical interest rate on that credit card. Those, we could actually compute as actual damages. Money out of your pocket-

Speaker 1:

Oh, I see.

Taylor Kosla:

... as a result of the inaccurate information on your credit report. It can be very favorable to plaintiffs, not just the statutory damages, but it's really, you're getting... Anything that you lost out on as a result of the inaccuracy, you are entitled to get back under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Wow. That's very interesting. People, they can get their money back if they report inaccurate?

Taylor Kosla:

Yeah, and we actually see this a lot with mortgages, where someone has disputed the information but they go forward with a mortgage. What we can actually do after the lawsuit, is allow them to refinance the mortgage. Once their credit report is cleaned up, they can refinance, and of course getting the credit report fixed is always a part of settlement. We have a 100% success rate. After we handle a case, your credit report is accurate.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Wow, that's interesting. [foreign language 00:11:36]. That's a very interesting point, because you can get your money back if credit bureau, they didn't report correctly. It doesn't matter if you got a loan three years or five year, they going to refund whatever different, right?

Taylor Kosla:

Exactly. Exactly.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing, isn't it?

Taylor Kosla:

It is.

Speaker 1:

I love that. Okay. A lot of people, they don't pay attention, because they just... Mentally, people, they interested to buy a house and they just want to get loan. It doesn't matter what low credit score, they don't care, long as they got the house. They're willing to pay, but they don't know there is a loophole, right? That's a loophole, but that's big mistake for the customer, right?

Taylor Kosla:

It is, because a higher interest rate on your loan can be really... Most mortgages are 30 years, so even the smallest percent, half a percent, 1%, that makes a huge difference over that time.

Speaker 1:

Right. I believe that and I understand that, because most of people, they didn't look at 30 years, but actually the payment is, the first 25 years they just pay interest.

Taylor Kosla:

Right.

Speaker 1:

Wow. Okay. All right. Now we learn. Thank you. Okay, another question here, how much does this cost to hire and actually to represent for the Fair Credit Report Act case?

Taylor Kosla:

$0. It's free.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Okay. That's very impressive. I love that. [foreign language 00:15:59]. How much are you going to pay? [foreign language 00:16:10].

Taylor Kosla:

Yeah, let me explain that a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Taylor Kosla:

The reason why there's no fee is because that's built into the statute. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says if a consumer prevails under the statute, they are entitled to attorney's fees and costs.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I see.

Taylor Kosla:

That's in addition to those statutory damages, actual damages, which is a big reason that defendants want to settle these cases and we're able to resolve them quickly, is because if they don't settle and we continue to litigate the case, the defendants are paying their own attorneys to represent them and then they have to look at paying our attorney's fees as well. Really, they could pay double the attorney's fees to litigate these cases, which is a tool that we're really able to utilize to force them to settle the case and get our client's credit report fixed as quickly as possible.

Speaker 1:

Well, yes, thank you. [foreign language 00:17:38]. How much are you going to pay for a case? [foreign language 00:18:28]. Yes, that's very interesting and I love. I love it. I just mention if some people already have a similar case and they've been paying for years and they don't understand why their interests are so high, so they have to look back and find out if that's the case, so they need to contact Agruss Law Firm.

Taylor Kosla:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Well, let's move on. This is very interesting in issues in today. What are the common facts pattern you see for a Fair Case Report Act?

Taylor Kosla:

One thing that we see that's really common, we are discussing it just before the show, are mixed files cases. We see this a lot with people with similar or the exact names, maybe father-son, so John Smith and John Smith Jr. Maybe John Smith Jr's information is on John Smith's credit report. An account that clearly doesn't belong to him or something like that, that's what's called a mixed file. We see a lot of inaccuracies with just account history. There's a ton of information on a credit report. When the last payment was made, the past, I believe it's 12 or even more months, and it'll show you every month what the status of that payment was. It's called the payment schedule on the credit report. And sometimes it'll just have one month, maybe, that it'll show a 30, which indicates you were 30 days late for payment, but maybe you weren't. That one little ding on your credit report could hurt your score and affect everything else.

Just in general, account history, and then information that's just plain inaccurate. For example, a debt collector reporting on your credit report a medical bill, maybe that was paid through health insurance. Again, that's a really common fact pattern that we see. Someone was in an accident, maybe they were really sick, something, and their health insurance company was supposed to pay for their bills. But somehow, one bill slipped through the cracks. Maybe it was paid, maybe it shouldn't have been, and then it comes back to haunt the consumer. Those are the most common fact patterns that we help consumers with.

Speaker 1:

Okay. All right. Thank you for your detailed answer here. Now I understand there is a lot of issues we have to look into your pretty report.

Taylor Kosla:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

[foreign language 00:21:29].

Speaker 3:

[foreign language 00:24:44].

Speaker 4:

[foreign language 00:26:26]. San Jose, Westminster, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Minnesota, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, New Jersey, Orlando. [foreign language 00:26:49].

Speaker 1:

[foreign language 00:27:25]. Yes, I try to explain to the people why we could have this issue, because this is a very important and a lot of people, they lacking of knowledge. Also, they're afraid to call the lawyer, because they don't think this is important. Actually, that's their money. They've been ripped off by the bank.

Taylor Kosla:

Right, there's a lot of misconceptions. Hiring an attorney for something like this doesn't cost you a dollar. When we were on the break, we were talking about the common credit bureaus. People think that it's just Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These are private entities. Although those are the major credit reporting agencies, we see a lot of cases also against these one-off companies, such as Checker. Most people who drive for ride share companies; Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, they use a separate service called Checker, and it does the exact same thing the bureaus do. They create credit files and we see a ton of drivers come to us and they're like, "I've been driving for five, six, seven years without issue, and all of a sudden my credit file was pulled again and I can no longer drive. I'm frozen out of my account."

And this is the only livelihood that these people have. They drive Uber or Lyft for a living, and we're the only ones that can help them and say, "We take action. We can file suit against Uber, Lyft and Checker to get you back driving right away." And again, we have a great success rate. And in that scenario, it's really easy to computate their actual damages. Remember that out of pocket cost? Because it's usually what was their average earnings per week, prior to the suspension? For how long were they suspended? And then we can calculate what their damages are and get our client reimbursed. And of course, they don't have to pay us a penny. It's a win-win.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a big win-win. [foreign language 00:30:24]. Next question I'd like to ask you, why is this important to regular monitor your credit report?

Taylor Kosla:

It's important, because you don't want to wait for the last minute where you're about to apply for that loan to get the car or the house that you want and then you have to deal with it. And then maybe you won't get the car or the house, because you waited. However, there's also really good benefit to regular monitoring it, and that's to see early signs of identity theft. If you start seeing information, maybe people are pulling your credit report and you don't know where this is coming from. That could be a sign of identity theft.

Accounts that don't belong to you, addresses that you've never lived at, those all can be signs of identity theft. If you believe you're a victim of identity theft, you should take action right away. File a police report. You want to start documenting it. You can put certain protections on your credit file so that the bureaus can actually block more pulls, but there are a lot of benefits to regularly monitoring your credit report, and ultimately it's just to make sure it's accurate, so that when you need to apply for a credit card or that loan, you can do so without issue.

Speaker 1:

Yes, okay. Thank you for your answer here. The question [foreign language 00:33:57]. Yes, next question for you is how can someone easily monitor their credit report?

Taylor Kosla:

There are a few different services that you can use to regularly monitor your credit report. Credit Karma is really common. Annual Credit Report, you can pull a free copy of your credit report from their website every 12 months. I think with Chase, Chase actually has their own credit protection. I think it's Credit Journey, and what's important about these services is they'll notify you of pulls in your credit, so if someone's pulling your information, they'll notify you of that, changes in your credit score, and they'll also notify you of your credit usage. These all play a role in your credit score and they will regularly notify you of changes to your credit file. And they're all free services.

Speaker 1:

Okay. [foreign language 00:36:31]. I believe there's one more, right? TransUnion, Equifax and so on?

Taylor Kosla:

And Experian.

Speaker 1:

Experian? Yes. [foreign language 00:38:00]. Yes. Next question is how many people have mistake on their credit report?

Taylor Kosla:

This is a really high amount. One in every four or five people have an inaccuracy on their credit report.

Speaker 1:

Okay, really?

Taylor Kosla:

That just shows how common inaccurate information on your credit report is, and why it's so important to regularly monitor your credit report and take action as soon as you see something inaccurate. It could be a sign of identity theft or just something that you need to deal with before you're taking those milestones of opening a credit card, buying a car or a house.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Okay. Thank you for your answer here. [foreign language 00:39:07]. How many people mistaken on their credit report? [foreign language 00:39:16]. Car loans, student loans, mortgage loans. [foreign language 00:40:17]. 20, up to 25%. [foreign language 00:40:31]. Yes. I can't believe it. That's a big number, between 20, up to 25 in America. Wow, okay. I believe that I'm one of them. Anyway, okay, let's see. I have one last question here. The time is going run out here. How do I dispute inaccurate information on my credit report?

Taylor Kosla:

There are a few ways that you can do this. You can actually do it online through the bureau's website. TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, they have an option to dispute it directly with them. However, I don't think that's the best way to go about it. You don't know the date it was sent, what information was included, so we recommend coming to us and we'll help you dispute the information. We know exactly what information to provide. We know the evidence to attach. If you're a victim of identity theft and there is an account under your credit report that doesn't belong to you and it is a result of the identity theft, you should file a police report to document the identity theft, and include a copy of that police report with your dispute. In addition to that, we would advise you to include a copy of your driver's license or another form of identification.

That's just evidence to attach to the dispute. In the actual dispute there's a lot of information that you should include; your name, your address, a description of what is inaccurate on your credit report and why. If you can say, "I've never had an account with Chase. This account doesn't belong to me. I'm a victim of identity theft. See the police report attached." And then they need further identifying information from you; your date of birth. We always provide the last four of the social. That helps again with identity theft, in the event that the thief has your social security number. Although there are options to do it online, it is best to do it in writing. We can happily help you with it and then we can calendar how long they have to investigate the dispute.

Because once you send the dispute to the bureaus, they have 30 days to investigate it. And oftentimes you will get a letter back in the mail from one of the bureaus saying, "We investigated this and we confirmed the information is accurate." Even though it's not. At that point, we can go ahead and file suit. The sooner you get us involved, we can help you and make the process quite seamless and get your credit report fixed as quickly as possible. And again, this is all at no cost to you. We work for free. Even if you just have questions about how to pull a copy of your credit report, please contact us. We're happy to help in any way that we can.

Speaker 1:

All right. Thank you. Yes, I think that's a very good information and that is a big help from your law firms. [foreign language 00:44:24]. What information do you need to collect? [foreign language 00:45:21]. Police report. [foreign language 00:45:30]. Again, one more time, this is a very important issues and very interesting for everybody, not only certain people. It's not like car accident, but everybody can encounter problem. And we do appreciate your time, and again, one more time, thank you for coming to our show. And before we say goodbye, please say goodbye to your audience.

Taylor Kosla:

Yes, thank you so much for having me on the show again today. Information on your credit report is incredibly important. If you have any questions or need assistance with disputing information on your credit report, don't hesitate to reach out to us and we'll do everything we can to help.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Again, one more time, thank you and have good day. [foreign language 00:48:04]. Any question, please contact Agruss Law Firm. [foreign language 00:48:21].

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