Leveraging Your Fair Credit Reporting Act Rights
Owing people money shouldn’t be an ordeal, but some creditors seem determined to make it as hard as possible. As a consumer, you might feel completely at a loss when these entities fail to report that you’ve paid off your debts or make careless mistakes that compromise your credit score.
Fortunately, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, is specifically designed to help. Here’s how it works and why you should contact Summit Law Firm, LLC for a free case evaluation.
The FCRA Explained
The FCRA is a piece of federal legislation that became law in 1970. At that time, legislators decided that consumers were in need of protection from companies and others that might misuse their credit information. The law that they created amended the existing Federal Deposit Insurance Act to ensure that consumers could
- Rely on reporting agencies to keep more accurate records,
- Count on their data being protected,
- Retain control over how their credit information gets used, and
- Take legal action to recover damages if their rights get violated.
These principles apply to a variety of common events involving credit reports. For instance, a potential employer that wants to perform a background check must obtain your express permission and consent to use your credit report beforehand. They also need to give you a copy of your report if they decide to hire or fire you, and they should let you dispute any questionable information in your report before using it to make a decision that might impact you negatively. Similarly, lenders and insurance providers that use your credit report to determine your eligibility need to provide you with notification.
What Happens If Your Rights Are Violated?
One of the most important features of the FCRA is that it broadens your legal options. In the past, you had little recourse when your creditors made reporting mistakes. Thanks to the FCRA, you have the right to dispute records that you believe are inaccurate. If you become a victim of credit reporting abuse, you can file a lawsuit to recover
- Statutory or actual monetary damages,
- The costs of going to court,
- Lawyer's fees, and
- Punitive damages for willful violations.
As with any consumer protection law, it’s important to jump through the right hoops. Even if you’re sure that you’ve been wronged, you’ll have to adhere to the statute of limitations, file suit correctly and provide evidence to support your claim.
At Summit Law Firm, LLC, we specialize in helping consumers protect their FCRA rights.
Learn more about your options. Contact us for a free case consultation today.