Fair Credit Reporting Act

Consumer credit reports serve an important purpose. Indeed, your financial future can depend on what’s in your credit report. It can determine whether you can obtain a mortgage, car, loan, job, or even an apartment. When the information in your credit report is inaccurate, outdated, or misused, it can therefore cause significant harm. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides protections for consumers against such harms.

The FCRA tells consumer reporting agencies (also called credit bureaus), creditors, debt collectors, and other authorized persons what they can and cannot do with your credit information. And, because congress anticipated that compliance with the FCRA may not be a high priority for these entities, the FCRA also includes provisions to assist consumers in forcing compliance with the law.

For example, the FCRA provides remedies for consumers who have been harmed by a violation, including statutory and actual damages. In some cases, punitive damages may also be available if the violation was willful. And the FCRA provides mandatory attorney’s fees and costs to a successful consumer.

Terrell Marshall represents consumers who have been harmed by non-compliance with the FCRA. We help consumers enforce their rights under the FCRA and other consumer protection laws and obtain the monetary damages and other relief to which they are entitled.

Common Violations of the FCRA

Credit reporting agencies and entities that furnish information to them must ensure the accuracy, privacy, and fairness of the information in a consumer report. Below are some common violations of the FCRA:

Failing to promptly investigate disputed information. You have the right to dispute information on your credit report that is inaccurate or incomplete, and credit bureaus must promptly and reasonably investigate such disputes.

Furnishing and reporting old information. The FCRA requires most information to be removed from your credit report after seven years, though certain items may be reported for ten years.

Furnishing and reporting inaccurate information. A creditor that supplies information it knows or reasonably should know is inaccurate may violate your rights under the FCRA.

  • This could include misstating the balance due, incorrectly reporting that you paid late, reporting a debt as charged off when you settled or paid in full, or supplying information on an account where identify theft was previously reported.
  • Likewise, credit bureaus may not report information that they know or reasonably should know is inaccurate. For example, a credit bureau may violate the FCRA by failing to report that a debt was discharged in bankruptcy or reporting an account as active when it was voluntarily closed by a consumer.

These are just a few examples. If you believe you have been harmed by a violation of the FCRA, you should contact us to evaluate whether you have a claim.

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