Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Originally passed into law in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that seeks to ensure the accuracy, fairness and privacy of consumer information contained with credit reporting agencies (CRAs). The law is intended to protect consumers from either the willful or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in credit reports.
People and businesses use the information contained in credit reports for a variety of reasons, including, for instance, consumer credit applications, insurance, or various employment purposes, and residential leases. Obtaining a credit report is commonly referred to as a background check, and is becoming increasingly common in all aspects of an individual’s life.
People and companies that use of this information, however, can only obtain consumer reports for permissible purposes, they must notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of such reports, and they must identify the company that provided the report so that the accuracy of the report may be verified or contested by the consumer. Many users fail to meet these requirements.
In addition, creditors, such as mortgagees, credit card companies, and auto finance companies, furnish the information in consumer reports to the CRAs. Under the FCRA, creditors must provide complete and accurate information to the CRAs, investigate consumer disputes received from CRAs, correct, delete or verify information within thirty days of receipt of a dispute, and inform consumers about negative information which is in the process of or has already been placed on a consumer’s credit report within one month.
If you believe that your rights under the FCRA have been violated, you may be entitled to bring a civil action in court to recover actual or statutory damages, attorney’s fees, court costs, and even recover punitive damages if the violation was willful.
Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel represents those who have had their FCRA rights violated on a class-wide basis. If you feel that your FCRA rights have been violated, or you have questions about your rights under this law, please contact us today to discuss in more detail at no cost to you.