Consumer Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Part 1

know your rights

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects consumers by providing them with rights related to the collection and dissemination of their credit history. States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, individuals may have more rights under state law. Here is a summary of these major rights under the FCRA:

Individuals must be told if the information in their file has been used negatively against them.

Any entity that utilizes a credit or other type of consumer report to deny an application for credit, insurance, employment, or other adverse action, must inform individuals and provide the name, address, and phone number of the agency that is the source of the information.

Individuals have the right to know what is in their file.

Individual consumers may request and obtain a file disclosure consisting of all personal credit information in the files of a consumer reporting agency (CRA). Individuals are entitled to a free file disclosure in the following situations or circumstances:

  • a person has taken adverse action against the individual because of information in the individual’s credit report;
  • the individual is the victim of identity theft and a fraud alert has been placed in the file;
  • the individual’s file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
  • the individual is on public assistance; or
  • the individual is unemployed but expects to apply for employment within 60 days.

Individuals have the right to ask for a credit score.

A credit score is a numerical summary of an individual consumer’s credit-worthiness that is calculated based on the data and information collected by the consumer reporting agencies.

Individuals have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.

Once any information in an individual’s file is identified as incomplete or inaccurate, the individual may report it to the consumer reporting agency, which must investigate it.

Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.

While a CRA may continue to report already-verified information, it must remove or correct inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information, typically within 30 days.

However, a debt collection defense attorney may provide invaluable assistance to consumers facing experiencing problems with debt collectors. The recipient of any unwanted or alleged illegal communications may retain an attorney to exclusively communicate with a debt collector on his or her behalf.

At Loan Lawyers, our Fort Lauderdale debt defense attorneys can help consumers repair their credit. For a no-risk, no-cost consultation, contact one of our South Florida consumer defense attorneys today by calling (888) FIGHT-13 (344-4813).