The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) affords you, the consumer, with certain rights. You have the right to know what is in your credit report, the right to have inaccurate or incomplete information removed in a timely manner, and the right to seek damages against entities that violate the laws outlined within. The FCRA also dictates the behaviors of credit reporting agencies and creditors: they must remove old data, only share your file under certain conditions, and maintain levels of security while managing your sensitive data.
Complete the dispute process with a pair of dispute letters.
If you haven’t already, send dispute letters to both the creditor (the business or person claiming the erroneous information) and the credit reporting agency (Experian, Equifax or TransUnion). The FTC provides sample dispute letters for both creditors and credit reporting agencies. Each letter needs to have some specific things: your appeal, the supporting evidence, and copies of the credit report with the error circled. Send these letters via certified mail with a return receipt requested to create a hard paper trail and verifiable timeline.
The FCRA requires that they both conduct timely investigations into the matter, communicate with each other, and amend anything that is negatively impacting your credit score. Not doing so would be (another) violation of your rights.
If you believe your rights have been violated, consult with an attorney.
Of course, not every situation is solved with a dispute letter. Sometimes the damage is already done. The consequences of having bogus negative information in a credit report can be life-altering: people are denied loans, jobs, housing, and insurance. Data being shared without your permission can leave you vulnerable to identity theft, account takeover, or other violations of your privacy.
The FCRA as written and interpreted is complex enough to warrant legal counsel. Estimating damages in consumer protection cases requires a professional fluent in the nuances of applicable local and federal law. Suing the creditor or credit reporting agency is the highest form of dispute.
If your situation warrants a lawsuit against the creditor or credit reporting agency, the time to act isn’t limitless. Depending on the circumstances, the FCRA allows you between two and five years to seek damages for negligence or willful non-compliance of the law. Even when a lawsuit is not warranted, the lawyer can help you quickly fix the issue and find the path of least resistance.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lohman for assistance.
Resolving a conflict with a business or powerful individual can be intimidating. Many consumers feel powerless to take on a large entity or faceless agency. The good news is that you don’t have to go at it alone. The team of attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey Lohman have decades of experience in consumer protection law and FCRA rights enforcement ready to go to work for you. Call us for help with your situation today.