At least one major credit repair website touts “Method of Verification” as a “secret credit repair tool.” Well, not exactly. Method of Verification, or “MOV,” refers to a statutory right that consumers enjoy to demand that a credit reporting agency (transunion, equifax, etc.) supply upon request the method of verification when a consumer asks that an entry on their credit report be reinvestigated. MOV is powerful, though, but as we’ll see, you’ll need to push pretty hard to get the CRAs to honor your request.
To truly understand MOV, lets take a step back. A consumer enjoys the right to demand that a credit reporting agency reinvestigate incorrect information that appears on the consumer’s credit report. We discussed this and supplied a tried-and-true sample letter for credit repair. This right, as well as a demand made pursuant to the right, is abreviated as a demand to “confirm or delete.”
CRAs, being corporations that must turn a profit, hardly raise a finger when a demand for confirmation or delation is made–the CRAs don’t really investigate, they use a computerized system called eOscar that “verifies” the credit report entry without true human intervention. Essentially, the CRAs do just enough not to be sued for failing to follow the statute.
Following a confirmation by a CRA, the consumer does enjoy a little-known right: the right to request the method of verification undertaken by the CRA. The right is found in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Section 611. It states “A consumer reporting agency shall provide to a consumer a description referred to in paragraph 6Biii [the section requiring reinvestigation] by not later than 15 days after receiving a request from the consumer for that description.”
Is it magic? Well, it would be if the CRAs made a common practice of complying with the law. Most times the CRAs simply deny that they have a responsibility to provide the method of verification. The statute is plenty clear, though, and it’s always a good idea to make the request. Certainly, you’d need to make the MOV request before suing for non-compliance with the FCRA.
For a sample form, visit our Sample Method of Verification Letter.