According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), if a consumer finds inaccurate information on their credit report and they contact the credit reporting agency to dispute the error, and that agency acknowledges that the error should be removed from the credit report but they fail to remove the error within a certain period of time, then the consumer has the legal right to sue the credit agency.
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Under § 602 (a) Accuracy and fairness of credit reporting (FCRA), it says the banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. It discusses how inaccurate credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and that unfair credit reporting methods directly undermine the publics' confidence, which is absolutely essential for the continual functioning of the banking system.
Since consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in the assembling and evaluating of consumer credit information, there is an essential need to ensure that consumer reporting agencies exercise a heightened level of responsibility with impartiality, fairness, and respect for the consumer's right to privacy.
Procedure for Reporting Credit Errors
It is highly recommended that consumers check their credit report on a periodic basis for any credit report errors that may be present. Under § 611 of the FCRA, when the consumer becomes aware of an error on their credit report, the consumer should notify the agency directly, or indirectly through the reseller of such dispute. From there, the credit reporting agency shall free of charge, conduct an investigation in order to determine if the disputed information is in fact inaccurate.
If the credit reporting agency finds that the information is inaccurate, then the agency is to record the current status as disputed, or delete the item from the file before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date the agency received the notice of the dispute from the consumer or the reseller. Under certain circumstances the agency may have an extension period of 15 additional days if during that 30-day period, the agency receives information from the consumer that is relevant to the investigation.
Civil Liability: Negligent Noncompliance
Under Section 617 of the FCRA, any person who is negligent in failing to comply with any of the requirements set forth by this title in respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer for:
- The actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure
- In the case of a successful action where liability shall be enforced under this section, the consumer shall be awarded the costs of the action, along with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.
Under Section 618 of the DCRA, an action brought against a credit agency in order to enforce liability may be brought in any appropriate United States district court. An action under this title must be brought by the plaintiff within 2 years of the date of discovery of the violation, or within 5 years after the date the violation occurs.
Can a Lawyer Fix Your Credit Report?
If your credit report has errors, an attorney may be able to help you! An attorney will work with you to handle the administrative items in fixing your credit report as well as working with the credit bureau.
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In the United States, good credit is everything. Having an excellent credit score opens many doors and it makes living life a whole lot easier. Good credit allows consumers to have access to prime credit cards from Citibank, American Express and Bank of America; it allows consumers to get 0% interest auto loans and the lowest rates on mortgages. Since maintaining an accurate credit report is so important, it's absolutely critical that consumers continuously check for any credit report inaccuracies.
Reporting credit inaccuracies is vital to maintaining the integrity of your credit report; however, if the credit reporting agency fails to remove the errors from your credit report after acknowledging its existence within the legally allotted time, then you have legal recourse as a consumer. Credit report problems are not a rare event, unfortunately such errors plague millions of credit reports today.
Without the diligent efforts of the consumer and sometimes their attorney, such errors will remain on the credit report and will continue to weaken the consumer's credit worthiness, essentially costing them a fortune in higher interest rates. In worst case scenarios, such errors can cause lenders to deny the consumer premium interest rates, or they can be denied credit altogether.
As the founding attorney at the Law Office of Michael P. Forbes, PC, I can help clients file credit report error lawsuits against credit reporting agencies for their noncompliance with the FCRA. When reporting credit problems as a consumer has fell on deaf ears and led you to an impasse, I can step in and get the ball rolling once and for all.
I am extremely well-versed in all aspects of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and am fully prepared to use the law to enforce each of its provisions on your behalf, that way you can gain freedom from credit report errors once and for all! Contact me online.
My goal is to reach as many people as possible to let them know that they do have the option to combat collection agency bullies.
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Michael P Forbes
VOTED AS ONE OF PENNSYLVANIA'S TOP LAWYERS
Mr. Forbes has always been driven by the desire to help others. With that in mind he began his law career representing indigent families in the Philadelphia family law system for seven years.
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