Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Disputes
Your credit score largely determines your ability to apply for credit cards, loans, and insurance programs. It can also affect your ability to gain employment, as many employers will conduct credit screenings prior to hiring applicants. Any outdated or incorrect information within your credit report can negatively impact its score, and make life very expensive for you and your family.
Federal laws offer protections that allow you to request a credit report and dispute any inaccuracies it may contain. Disputes can become complicated, however, and temporary poor credit can essentially put your life on pause, as some organizations may attempt to deny you housing, employment, or credit. This is a direct violation of your rights, and we can help you enforce them.
Morgan & Morgan’s compassionate attorneys can guide you through the process and protect you from an unethical third party trying to violate your rights. Complete a free, no-risk case evaluation today for more information.
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal statute that protects consumers from any dishonest or immoral credit reporting agency. It promotes accurate reporting, the privacy of sensitive information, and also allows you to pursue compensation for any violations. You are offered the right to:
- Request your credit score
- Know what information is in your file
- Dispute any inaccurate or outdated information
- Know if your report is used against you
- Privacy—the access to your file is limited to the absolutely necessary
- Seek punitive damages for any violations
A 2003 addition to the FCRA allows you to request a credit report once a year from one of the three major credit agencies. While this has made credit reports more accessible to the public, it hasn’t changed the difficulty of removing inaccurate information from your report. Credit bureaus are notoriously difficult, but an experienced attorney can help you enforce your rights and pursue the full value of your damages.
Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Our digital world has placed a heavy emphasis on credit, and any mishandling of your information can have detrimental consequences. Banks, lenders, and credit reporting agencies can violate the FCRA in the following ways:
- Reporting information older than 7 years
- Applying late fees to debts paid on time
- Distributing credit information despite evidence of identity theft
- Failing to correct inaccurate information
- Reporting a previously settled debt
- Failing to conduct an investigation into disputed debt within 30 days
- Failing to provide the results of the investigation
- Submitting information to a credit reporting agency that is incorrect
Credit reports are, furthermore and unbeknownst to a lot of people, included in most pre-employment background checks. While many employers will notify you if there are any issues with your credit during the check, some will just move on to the next applicant. This could potentially cost you a job without your knowledge, and their reluctance to notify you could cause the problem to happen again. It is recommended to check your credit report often to be aware of any changes and prevent a scenario like this from occurring.
Disputing Credit Errors
According to a 2003 study, 1 in 5 credit reports contain inaccurate information. If you believe there are inaccuracies or any misinformation in your report, our credit report dispute attorneys are here to help.
First, you have to draft a dispute letter to send to the credit reporting agency. Our attorneys can make sure this letter contains all the necessary documentation, such as supporting evidence and an explicit request for the removal of the inaccurate information. The agency will either resolve the dispute and remove the information from your report, or deny it due to lack of validity. If you aren’t satisfied with the results of your dispute, our attorneys can advise you on your next best steps based on your situation.
Our Attorneys Can Help
If you believe a credit agency, bank, or other financial institution has violated your rights, we understand and are here to help. Credit is sensitive, and you have a say in your report if there are any discrepancies. When you’re having difficulty removing inaccurate information from your report, Morgan & Morgan is here to make sure the financial institution does so.
America’s largest personal injury firm has the resources to enforce your protections under the FCRA and pursue compensation for the damage you’ve sustained. Complete a free, no-obligation case evaluation to get started.