Federal law says that in order for a negative item to be on your credit report it must meet THREE very specific pieces of criteria;
CRITERIA ONE – Items shown on your credit report must be “100% True” – This means the account in question must be yours, it is illegal for a credit bureau to report something on your credit report that is not yours. If the account in question belonged to a spouse or relative and you had no financial responsibility the credit bureau can be legally forced to remove it from your credit report
CRITERIA TWO – Items shown on your credit report must be “100% accurate” – A simple error such as the wrong balance on an account can affect your credit score by hundreds of points, it is for this reason that federal law requires all items on your credit report to be 100% accurate
CRITERIA THREE – Items shown on your credit report must be “100% verifiable” – This means that the company doing the reporting must be able to prove that you owe the debt and you owe the debt to them. Years ago I worked at Sears and part of my duties were to shred and destroy daily reports that printed out with sensitive consumer information (Name, Address, SS#, Sears Acct #, etc) If I was a disgruntled employee and decided to take that data home with me I could open up a fake collection agency and begin calling people daily until I could convince someone that they still owed sears some money and I was collecting “on their behalf”. Scam’s like this happen everyday and you may recall that you have an account with a company and may recall that you owe them money, but do they still have the legal right to collect on the debt? Did they sell the debt to a collection agency? There is no way to know unless they can prove it
Based on the above legal requirements many items are deleted from credit reports that consumers believe are theirs, these deletions don’t automatically mean you don’t actually owe the debt it just means that reporting the debt was not allowed.