Correcting Credit Report Errors from Defunct Creditors

Having taught nearly 500 personal finance classes since 2004 to over 8,000 individuals, it’s not often that I get a question about course topics that I haven’t heard before. I love it when I do, though, and that’s exactly what happened last week at a local housing authority. Here is the question:

What can I do if the title loan company to which I once owed money but have paid off in full has gone out of business but is still listed on my credit report with money owing? At first, it sounded completely new, but in the end, much of the method for dealing with this situation goes back to the typical process for correcting one’s credit report. Here are the suggestions that we, as a class, came up with:

  1. First, dispute the credit report error online through each of the thee national credit bureaus.
  2. If that doesn’t work, call the company using the phone number listed on the credit report. Attempt to correct the problem directly with the title loan company’s representative.
  3. If these attempts fail, try looking up the company on the state’s Secretary of State’s business entity search website. The business listing should include, even if the company has gone out of business, an owner or board member to contact (likely a mailing address). Make contact with a request for information on how to address accounting errors.

These same suggestions apply to similar situations involving other defunct creditors listed on one’s credit report, including, for example, debt collectors, banks and credit unions.

If you’ve had success dealing with such situations in other ways, please feel free to share them here for the benefit of others.

Have a fantastic day!

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