The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that protects you and your credit report. The law is for credit agencies who are responsible for collecting the information and also to those who furnish information to them. There are three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) who are there to maintain a credit report for each and every person who has bought anything on credit.
What is a credit report?
It’s a collection of data having information about all your previously made and current credit transactions. Having the entire information these credit reports are responsible for assigning you a credit rating or score a picture ability to qualify for loans, credit cards, insurance etc These reports are used to assign you a credit rating.
Under the fcra act you are allowed to check your credit reports and make the necessary corrections by removing the inaccurate information. With the help of fair credit reporting act lawyers you can sue the credit reporting agencies and furnishers for not properly investigating your disputes and correcting errors on your reports. You can also sue those who report or access your credit reports improperly, like creditors and debt collectors.
You probably need a good FCRA lawyer to help fix your credit report at this point. These lawyers will be protecting you from the violations listed below.
Common Violations of the FCRA
Furnishing and Reporting Old Information
It is the duty of both credit reporting agencies and the furnishers (who are responsible for supplying them the information) to maintain the records up to date and accurately.
Reporting information that is 8 to 11 years back just for the sake of civil judgements.
Reporting an information just for the sake of civil judgements.
Reporting old bills as newer than they are (re-aging).
Reporting an inactive account that was voluntarily closed by the consumer as active.
Furnishing and Reporting Inaccurate Information
Reporting a bill or debt as unpaid even when it is being settled.
Voting the amount as due or late even when the payment was made on time.
Supplying credit information despite reported identity theft.
Listing you as a debtor on an account where you were only an authorized user.
Putting the credit information of some other people into your credit report.
Failing to Follow Debt Dispute Procedures
When you submit a written dispute about the accuracy of items on your report, the credit reporting agencies and furnishers have a duty to conduct a reasonable investigation of your dispute. Duty to correct the information and also to remove that disputed bills from the report as per your complaint. There are several ways that they can fall short of this duty and then you have a claim against them for damages.
Debt Dispute Violations by Credit Reporting Agencies
Not notifying the creditor that you have disputed the reported debt.
Not conducting a rational enquiry of your discourse.
Not correcting or deleting imprecise and incomplete information within 30 days of receiving your written argument.
Debt Dispute Violations by Creditors and Other Furnishers of Information
Not informing CRA that you dispute the debt.
Not conducting an internal investigation of your dispute within 30 days.
Not providing you with a reasonable procedure to submit your written dispute.
Not informing you of the results of its investigation within 5 days of its completion of the investigation.
Consumer protection lawyer florida can only release your credit report to legitimate persons. Authorized persons are those with a “valid need,” for instance:
Employers (only if you gave express consent)
Improper Requests for Credit Reports
Credit reports can only be pulled from a CRA if legitimate persons have an acceptable and lawful purpose. Some examples of impermissible purposes are:
your employer pulls a report without your specific permission.
a Creditor for a debt discharged in Bankruptcy pulls a report after the bankruptcy.
You are entitled by law to notice the reporting and handling of your credit reports.
A creditor must notify you of your credit score if it was used in its decision.
A creditor must notify you of your right to dispute inaccurate information and to obtain a free credit report.
A creditor or authorized person must identify the source of the credit information it obtained on you.
Your Rights Under FCRA
The Fair Credit Reporting Act has several important amenities developed to protect the rights of consumers. The act:
- Inflicts a duty on CRA and furnishers to include accurate information on credit reports
- Credit reporting agencies are required to inquire and correct false and inaccurate credit information
- Credit Report agencies are required to provide you a free credit report once a year 8f requested.
- Protects victims of identity theft by requiring credit bureaus to remove inaccurate information resulting from the theft
- If a credit bureau places information on a report it knows to be inaccurate, a consumer can claim up to $1,000 for each willful violation, plus attorney fees and legal costs. People who have suffered actual financial losses can claim the full amount of those losses, and in some cases, punitive damages can be awarded.
How does a FCRA lawyer help?
A fair credit reporting act lawyer(Fair Credit Reporting Act) specializes in matters related to consumer credit reporting. Their role includes:
Legal Guidance: Providing legal advice to clients regarding their rights and responsibilities under the FCRA.
Dispute Resolution: Assisting clients in disputing inaccuracies or errors on their credit reports with credit reporting agencies.
Identity Theft: Handling cases involving identity theft and fraudulent accounts on credit reports.
Compliance: Ensuring that creditors, lenders, and credit reporting agencies comply with FCRA regulations.
Lawsuit Representation: Representing clients in lawsuits against credit reporting agencies or creditors for FCRA violations.
Credit Repair: Helping clients improve their credit scores by addressing negative items on their credit reports.
Documentation: Assisting clients in gathering and organizing the necessary documentation for FCRA-related disputes and legal actions.
Negotiation: Negotiating settlements or resolutions with creditors or credit reporting agencies on behalf of clients.
Overall, an FCRA lawyer plays a crucial role in protecting consumers’ rights and ensuring fair and accurate credit reporting practices.