The term “mixed file” means that one consumer’s credit report contains information that belongs to another person, or that two consumers’ credit files are completely merged such that any creditor requesting a credit report on either consumer would receive a single report that combines both consumers’ personal information and/or credit histories.
Mixed files can occur when two consumers share similar identifying information, such as similar names, Social Security Numbers, addresses, and/or birth dates. Although some mixed files occur between family members, Suzanne Begnoche has handled cases in which one consumer’s file was mixed with that of a completely unknown and unrelated person.
Why is a mixed file problematic?
- Denial of credit because of false information sent to lenders: Many consumers do not discover that they have a mixed file until they are in the process of applying for credit. A mixed file can give the appearance to a lender that an applicant has an disproportionate debt load, or that an applicant has delinquencies, excessive hard inquiries, or even bankruptcy discharges that are actually from the other person’s credit history. This may result in the lender denying credit altogether, or offering credit only on undesirable terms.
- Embarrassment or humiliation about lenders seeing credit reports containing false information.
- Chilling effect on credit seeking: Consumers who discover that they have mixed files often delay or give up on applying for credit until their credit reports are corrected.
- Expense of time and energy trying to fix a situation that is not the consumer’s fault, and corresponding lack of time and energy for work, family, and friends.
- Emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression.
- Physical injury, such as exacerbation of existing illness or physical manifestations of anxiety.
- Invasion of privacy: Consumer no longer has any control over the distribution of their personal information, as the credit bureau may be sending out reports containing the consumer’s information whenever the other person applies for credit or asks for a copy of their report.
If you think your credit report has been mixed with someone else’s, Suzanne Begnoche can help. She has litigated mixed file cases against the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union).
Call our office at 919.960.6108 to set up a free initial consultation on your mixed file case. If our office agrees to represent you to bring a lawsuit, you won’t pay any attorney’s fees unless we win money for you. (You may be responsible for other costs in your lawsuit).