A federal law, the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), protects consumers by providing them with many rights related
to the collection and dissemination of their credit history. If a credit
reporting agency (CRA) or other entity violates the FCRA, an individual
may suffer some harm, typically economic. Inaccurate information on a
credit report could cause a lender to deny credit in the form of an auto
loan or credit card, an employer to fail to provide a job opportunity,
or a landlord to choose to not lease property. If a CRA or other entity
violates the FCRA, consumers have remedies available to redress the damage
to their credit and other harm:
*Basic damages available under the FCRA include:
- actual damages (no limit), or
- statutory damages (between $100 and $1,000)
*If the offender committed fraud to obtain the credit report of another,
or used it for an improper purpose, then damages are the greater of:
- your actual, provable damages (no limit), or
- $1,000 flat (no minimum).
*"Willful" means that the CRA or other entity knew or should
have known that it was acting in violation of the
FCRA. Punitive damages, attorney's fees and costs are also available under
the FCRA. Consumers who sue in "bad faith of for purposes of harassment"
are subject to
*Negligent violations are actionable and damages include:
- actual damages (no limit, and
- attorney's fees and costs.
*A complaint may be filed in either federal or state court. The statute
of limitations for filing an FCRA complaint dictates that it must be filed
no later than:
- two years after the date you discovered the violation, or
- five years after the date of the violation.
A debt collection
defense attorney is often crucial in this situation as he or she may help formulate
a defense and provide guidance through court proceedings. Most debt collection
defense attorneys, like the attorneys at
Loan Lawyers, provide free consultations. At
Loan Lawyers, our South Florida consumer rights and debt defense
attorneys can help individuals protect themselves from unscrupulous creditors. For
a no-risk, no-cost consultation, contact one of our
South Florida consumer defense attorneys today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).