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Understanding The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs how consumer reporting agencies are allowed to manage consumer information. The law helps create accurate and fair credit reports that are kept private for all but approved purposes.

In general, the FRCA applies to credit bureaus like Experian, Transunion, and Equifax as well as services that provide information like medical histories or background checks. Under this law, you as a consumer have the following rights:

Right to Know What Is In Your File

First, you have the right to know what is in your credit report or background check. This includes the right to know your credit score. The main credit bureaus are required to provide access to this information from consumers on at least an annual basis. If you want to review your credit report for free, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

Right to Know When Information Is Used Against You

If a person or entity declines to lend you credit or takes a negative employment action against you, you have the right to know what information was used in that decision. For example, if you were denied credit due to a bankruptcy in your credit history, the company that denied your application will need to send you notice of that fact.

Right of Limited Access

The FCRA gives consumers the right to keep credit information private except in certain circumstances. The FCRA only allows credit bureaus to release your credit information to people with a valid need to know that information, like the company extending credit, a landlord, or an employer. However, employers may only review your credit information if you grant the company permission. An employer cannot review your credit report without your consent.

Right to Dispute Information

Finally, the FCRA gives you the right to dispute any information which is inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable. If you write to a credit bureau and consumers to dispute make a dispute, the company must investigate your complaint in a timely matter and remove any information which cannot be verified.

Damages for Violations

If a creditor or a credit bureau violates the rules of the FCRA, you are allowed to seek damages. Usually, this means filing a lawsuit in state or federal court. Depending on the violation, both the credit bureau and the debt owner may share liability.

If you are having problems removing inaccurate information on your credit report, or need help defending yourself from aggressive debt collection harassment, contact Loan Lawyers today. Our experienced South Florida debt defense attorneys will help you get your finances back on track and put a stop to illegal debt collection abuses.

To schedule a free consultation, contact Loan Lawyers today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).

  • ABC News
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
  • Avvo
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