Understanding the Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. A creditor has been defined to mean a company that provides information to consumer reporting agencies, such as credit card companies, collection agencies, auto finance companies, or mortgage and lending institutions.
Everyone has heard of the three major U.S.-based consumer credit reporting companies Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. These are the main entities that are subject to the FCRA. Yet what most people don’t know is that a large percentage of credit reports contain errors (various research reports have uncovered that anywhere from 20-80% of credit reports contain errors). Credit report errors can impact one’s ability to retain current employment and affect one’s ability to obtain new credit, get a car loan and even secure insurance.
Loan Lawyers Will Fight for Your Rights
The FCRA is a fairly complex law designed to protect the accuracy, integrity, and privacy of your credit information. The FCRA requires credit reporting agencies and the entities that report your credit information to them to ensure that your information is fair and accurate, and kept private. The FCRA provides the ability for consumers to access and correct any inaccuracies on their credit reports, and provides for legal remedies if a credit reporting agency or creditor that reports information violates your rights.
In the event of violations of the FCRA, consumers may be entitled to monetary recovery for statutory and actual damages, punitive damages, as well as attorney fees and costs. Should you experience this situation, call on our Fort Lauderdale consumer rights lawyers at Loan Lawyers.
Some examples of guidelines that must be followed under the FCRA are:
- Creditors must provide complete and accurate information to the credit reporting agencies.
- In the event that a consumer disputes information on their credit report, the creditor has the duty to investigate the matter, correct any errors or explain why the credit report is correct within 30 days of receiving a notice of dispute.
- Consumers must be notified about negative information that may be reported or has been placed on their credit report within 30 days.
- Old credit information (anywhere from 7-10 years) can no longer be kept or replaced on your credit report.
- Withhold the disclosure of consumer credit information to employers without prior consent.
Work With Our Trusted Fort Lauderdale Firm
We highly recommend that consumers order a free copy of their credit report online as a first step to ensure that they have not been the victim of credit reporting error or fraud. There are many websites that scam people who are trying to get information about their credit reports, so it’s important to go to a trustworthy site to gain more information about your credit report. The Federal Trade Commission has verified that AnnualCreditReport.com is a legitimate and free resource for consumers to access their credit reports.
If you have been penalized or denied credit due to an error or misreporting on your credit report, we may be able to help. Contact our firm at (844) 344-4813 for a free, confidential case review.