Consumers who believe their credit has been damaged should probably obtain a full credit file disclosure, which is different than a credit report since it may contain additional information. Once this disclosure is received and reviewed, any mistakes may be disputed with the credit reporting agencies reporting false or incorrect information.
Consumers are required to dispute a mistake with the credit reporting agencies. Under the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA), the only instance that a consumer has a private remedy is when a dispute is filed with a credit reporting agency.
The creditor or lender is referred to the “furnisher” in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Typically, this party is the source of the mistake. If a dispute is sent only to the furnisher, and it does nothing, there is no recourse. Thus, consumers may not sue the furnisher under the FCRA for the initial reporting of information.
If a mistake is disputed and not corrected, then a lawsuit may be required to solve the problem. Once a legitimate mistake is disputed and goes unresolved, the following remedies may be available:
Under the FCRA, consumers may sue for:
- Statutory damages of $100 – $1000 per violation;
- Actual damages for injury suffered by the consumer;
- Emotional damages for any resulting stress or physical ailments; and
- Punitive damages.
Consumers may sue for credit damaged by:
- Erroneous reporting to credit bureaus of balances owed, late payments, etc.
- A creditor’s improper handling of an identity theft issue.
- A divorce, wrongful dismissal at work, or personal injury that prevented the payment of bills, causing late or missed payments, and defaults.
- Increased out-of-pocket expenses for payments on higher interest loans;
- Loss of credit capacity, i.e. lowering of credit limits;
- Loss of credit expectancy;
- Loss of time;
- Loss of credit reputation;
- Aggravation. Emotional stress.
At Loan Lawyers, our South Florida consumer rights and debt defense attorneys help individuals with problems related to the payment of their debts. The experienced South Florida defense attorneys at Loan Lawyers are here to help you if you have excessive debt. To schedule a free consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices, contact Loan Lawyers today by calling 954-523-HELP (4357).