Is Disputing acurate ChexSys Info Fraud?

over 3 years ago, I had a checking account with a big bank (Think big as the Sun, I Trust you know which bank I mean) that I forgot about, and which the natural fees slowly took lower and lower until I owed about 150 bucks (I had moved and stopped getting the notices warning me…oops) and eventually, their collections department found me, and sent me a notice, which I paid THAT day.

They reported this incident to ChexSystems, as is their right, and I understand.

However, I now am trying to get a checking account with a credit-union and they’re kinda sticklers about having a completely empty ChexSystems report. Even though the item is (correctly) shown as “Amount has been paid.” they still don’t like that I even have a report.

SOOO, Often with Credit Reports it’s suggested that you dispute everything, and that the company, being a slow beaurecratic institution, will take more than 30 days, and the report will come off.

But I have nothing to dispute. The dates, the account numbers, my social, my address, everything is right. (The dates MIGHT be off by a few days, but I have no reason to believe they are, and they coincide with my records from the time, so I believe they are indeed correct)

So I have nothing to dispute.

Would it be fraudulent to dispute anyway, picking some silly reason to scrutinize the report, in the hopes that the bank will have rusted gears that turn to slowly, and they would take longer than 30 days to reply, or may simply ignore it, allowing the report to fall off. OF course, I believe that if they reply AFTER the 30 days, the report can go back on, but it might give me a big enough window to crawl through to join the credit-union.

So, is it fraudlent to disputing the report when I know the data is correct?

And I don’t want to spur debate, or a poll or anything out of place for the forum, but would this be considered unethical, or ya know, lying? Cause Steve don’t like dishonesty.



Yes it is fraud to dispute the report when you know its true.


IAANL, but I did spend 15 years in the banking industry (which in this instance means squat, quite honestly). I don’t see this as being any different from pleading “not guilty” to a crime you commited. The burden of proof is on the bank that reported you. All you are asking is that they show evidence that they reported the correct information. If the bank can’t or won’t provide the documentation about ChexSystems listings then they should not be reporting in the first place.

ChexSystems is different from a credit bureaus in that you cannot dispute the report through them. They will only provide you with very basic information about the report (bank name, location, date) and you must dispute the information with the institution that submitted it. Only the institution that originally submitted the report can remove it. Financial institutions do not submit corraborating documentation to ChexSystems.

Ask your previous bank to send you documentation supporting the report. If they do, live with it. If they can’t, ask them to remove the report. Nothing fraudulent about that.

I didn’t think of it like that, but the analogy makes total sense. I’ll wait to see if Jeff Peanut or anyone else can provide a cite or a compelling reason for me to believe it is fraud, but I think you’re correct.

I hate to disagree or dispute something said by someone trying to offer me free advice, however, I think there’s a slight mistake in your above statement. ChexSystems does have to follow all the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (cite) which includes the provision that if an item is disputed to the agency, the agency must re-investigate, free of charge, and remove the item if the dispute’s premise is true, or the agency does not get verification in 30 days from the bank that put the report on in the first place(cite) .

I got my ChexSystems Report and it came with a form “Consumer Request for Reinvestigation” that has a header that, among other things says:

Yeah, seems like a “no harm, no foul” sorta situation, now. I was probably being a bit paranoid posting this…but I didn’t want to, you know, do something wrong.

Thanks for your input!


I can’t speak toward the legal part, but it does strike me as being a little less than perfectly ethical. To use the court analogy, if a person commits a crime and pleads not guilty, that’s hardly ethical. After all, the burden may be upon the court to prove that he’s guilty to society, but it’s not to prove to the defendent that they did something wrong. So if you’re in the wrong, strictly speaking, you’re in the wrong. Of course, I don’t even have a clue as to what the ChexSys thing is and I don’t really know the circumstances, but if you’re going to go buy an non-relativistic moral code, then I’d say it’s unethical.

Cool! I have been out of banking for about 3 years, that change must have happened in that time. I know they used to stick very closely to the line “Our contract is with the financial institutions we represent”. That’s a good change, at least from the consumer POV!

Audiobottle, I’m not at all sure that, in our court system, it’s unethical to plead not guilty to a crime you commited. The system was intentionally set up to require the government to prove its case. But that’s a question for Great Debates.

Not to continue the debate, but I was speaking from a fixed ethics point of view. In that case, if you know you’ve done something wrong, to plead not guilty to it is essentially lying. Lying is unethical (again, from this fixed point of view), and thus so is pleading guilty. But all of this is completely beside the point. The OP is probably best off with the advice you gave him.

Which is exactly what I want. I’m as interested (or more) in being honest as I am in staying legal.

That said…
My uncle is a lawyer, and a devout Mormon with a strict sense of ethics, and I actually had this discussion with him once. Is it not lying to say “Not Guilty” when you know you are? He said that in his both legal, and ethical opinion it is not lying. When you say “Not Guilty” you are refusing to admit guilt to the court, and demanding that they match their burden. While it is probably more noble, and more moral to admit your guilt when you are guilty, pleading in court is not saying “Yes I did it” or “No I didn’t.” But rather “Yes I accept blame for what happened” or “No, I demand you prove it to a jury.”

Where the ChexSystems thing is different is that when I request a reinvestigation, I must state why. My reasoning shouldn’t (and for me won’t) be “I didn’t do this” or “The dates are wrong.” because for me to write down that I didn’t do it, and sign my name to it, would be a lie, plain and simple, legally actionable or not. I could leave it blank, but I’m not sure if that invalidates the form.

I imagine, going from the court analogy, I could say “I am requesting documented proof of all circumstances involving this report.” and that wouldn’t be a lie.

I know it’s hard to talk any ethics in a forum like this, since ethics really aren’t fixed. But in the fixed ethical notions of “Lying is wrong, cheating is wrong, stealing is wrong, and fraud is wrong.” I AM interested in how that comes out.

If that’s inappropriate for this forum, well, I’ll be willing to discuss it elsewhere.


I would suggest you put it in Great Debates where you’ll get much more learned responses than my own. I only popped in originally because I was curious as to what ChexSys is.


I get around this ethical quandary when I dispute big 3 credit reports by stating “This information is inaccurate.”
I don’t say what’s inaccurate. Honestly, I have probably 15 trade lines, and at any given time, 14 are inaccurate. My date of last activity will be wrong, or my balance won’t be updated (and therefore wrong), etc.
Just sharing how I look at things.
If you go by ethics, disputing this stuff for an advantage is probably wrong.
If you go by the law, you have to look for prosecutions and convictions. Anyone have cites for persons who’ve been punished at law for improper credit report tradeline disputes?

Perhaps your tactic could be to dispute the notion that the bank was permitted to charge fees on an account that it has drained because of fees and thus it wasn’t a valid debt to begin with. I’m rather appalled at the notion that the bank, once it sucks the account to zero through fees, would continue to maintain it as an open and active account and charge fees against it. I have no idea if the bank’s action is legal but if it is it makes me even happier that I abandoned banks a decade ago.

Yeah I was rather upset by that as well, Otto. I’d had another account with another bank once, and when it reached 0 and stayed there, they just closed it and sent me a letter saying they hoped to be of service again in the future.

This bank didn’t close the account until it went to collections. I found it underhanded and dirty, but I guess that account was costing them SO MUCH to keep on their books they just HAD to do it to break even. What really sucks. When I looked at an account draft, they took it into the red by charging a monthly fee, then immediately hit me with a 30 dollar NSF Fee. And kept doing so, for the next several months. Every time they’d apply the fee, 30 dollars NSF.

Where do you keep your money? A Piggy Bank? Cause I’m considering stuffing my mattress with cash.


If you dispute it by saying, “The bank made insufficient effort to contact me to let me know that these fees were outstanding,” that seems perfectly honest and ethical. I don’t know, however, if its sufficiently nonwhiny to be considered a “dispute” by ChexSys.