What you need to know about Fair Debt Collection

You have rights when a debt collector is pursuing you. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to promote fair debt collection procedures and to protect consumers against debt collection abuses. Learn more.

What to do with errors on Your Credit Report

You have the right to have your credit report accurately reflect your credit history.  If your credit report contains inaccuracies that are causing you harm in obtaining credit, employment or insurance, the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides relief for consumers.


Error on your Employment Background Report?

If you've had an inaccuracy on your employment background report, you are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Find out more about false employment reports and know your rights.

Are you the victim of Consumer Fraud

Have you been duped into purchasing a vehicle based upon misrepresentations from the dealer as to the history of the vehicle?  Dealerships will hide previous accident history or other undesirable history of a vehicle to make a sale.  You have rights against those who commit consumer fraud.

Have You Bought a Lemon

If your new vehicle has been subject to multiple repairs for a defect, you may have purchased a lemon.  If you did, you have rights.  Learn more about your protection under the lemon laws.


Who has access to your Credit Report

Many Americans consider their credit information to be private information, and it should be. But who has access to your report and who protects your privacy? Read our latest blog post to find out.

Protecting Consumer Rights - Presented By SmithMarco, P.C.

SmithMarco, P.C.

SmithMarco, P.C. is a private law firm dedicated to representing consumers and protecting their rights. Managing partners Larry Smith and David Marco have been practicing consumer protection for over 35 years combined, and have successfully defended consumers in thousands of cases. They are experienced debt collection practices act attorneys and credit report and background dispute lawyers who can ensure that your rights are protected, debt collector harassment stops, and that credit and background report errors are corrected depending on your needs.

If you feel your rights have been violated in regards to debt collection, credit report errors, background check errors, consumer fraud, or lemon laws, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free case review or give us a call at 888-822-1777.

Past _due _img

You have rights as a consumer!

Even though you may be behind in your bills, it does not give a bill collector the right to harass or abuse you for payment.  As a debtor, you have rights.  Find out what a debt collector can and cannot do, or what they must tell you when trying to collect a debt.  If your consumer rights have been violated, we can help.

Are you a victim?

Justice _scale

The law is on your side.

There are laws written to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection practices.  Overreaching and abusive practices are not allowed.  In addition, there are consumer laws that provide for assistance in dealing with the burden of paying an attorney to help you with this problem. Let us see if we can help you with abusive collection practices.

Free Case Review?

Piggy _bank

You may be entitled to compensation.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you may be entitled to compensation as the law provides for a recovery of up to $1,000.  The law also provides for the recovery of attorneys fees and court costs.  We offer a free case review to determine if your FDCPA consumer rights were violated.  Contact us to discuss your situation.

Find an Attorney

Recent Protecting Consumer Rights Blog Posts

Alternative Data Could Help Some Consumers Get Credit

July 12, 2018

Believe it or not, it has been over 75 years since two mathematicians named William Fair and Earl Isaac created the credit scoring system, more commonly known as Fair Isaac or FICO, which has been the main tool for valuing your credit standing since the mid 1950s. While this model maintains its position as the standard by which credit is determined, other data that is typically not reported can soon serve to help consumers in need of a better credit standing. More >

What Must Be Disclosed Before Employment Background Check

July 10, 2018

When it comes to applying for a job, the application process is no longer as simple as filling out paperwork and going for an interview.  With the availability of consumer data and the internet, employers can now conduct a more extensive background check when you apply for a job.  Gone are the days of being able to just appear face to face and let an employer know you are the right person for the job.More >

Snacking Giant Pays in Background Check Lawsuit

June 07, 2018

Last month, Frito-Lay, Inc., one of the largest snack food manufacturers, generating over $1 billion in sales over the past year, agreed to pay $2.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit over alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) for improper handling of background checks.More >

No Credit, No Problem?

June 06, 2018

Have you ever applied for credit and been rejected because you have no credit?  Getting approved for credit is next to impossible when you have little to no credit history.  This cycle seems impossible to overcome, because if you have no credit, how are you going to get approved based upon your credit history?  So while no credit is not the same as bad credit, following these simple steps to getting credit will help you build a credit history and set yourself up for the future.More >

Video: Credit Report Types & Debt Collection Scams

June 04, 2018

Join Larry Smith, consumer protection attorney and co-founder of SmithMarco P.C. for this episode of "Credit Talk" on Chicago Access Network Television. Larry discusses how to access and dispute incorrect information on all of you credit and background reports, not just the credit reports from the three large credit reporting agencies. He also talks about how to recognize and avoid debt collection scams, which are on the rise, along with other credit topics.More >

Video: How to Dispute a Merged Credit Report

May 31, 2018

Join SmithMarco's own consumer rights attorney, Larry Smith, on Chicago Access Network Televisiton (CAN TV) for this episode of "Credit Talk."  Larry Smith discusses your rights when denied credit or employment based on a merged credit file. A merged credit file occurs when people have similar names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, and social security numbers and their credit information and background check information gets mixed up by the credit reporting agencies.More >

Utilizing the Fair Credit Reporting Act

May 22, 2018

Experts say that one in three American consumers have never checked their credit report.  Considering the prevalence of the use of credit in our society, this number is quite astounding.  Are you one of the consumers who have never looked at your report to make sure that the reporting is accurate?  More >

Social Media and Employment Background Checks

April 27, 2018

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), an employer cannot delve into your personal life without your permission.  When applying for a job or if you are currently employed, the law says employers need to seek your permission to conduct a background check.  The FCRA requires an employer to ask your permission to conduct a background check and get written confirmation.  More >

How to Dispute Incorrect Information on Your Credit Report

April 20, 2018

Tune into CAN TV’s “Credit Talk” to hear from SmithMarco’s very own attorney, Larry Smith. He discusses a variety of credit-related topics, including how to dispute incorrect information on your credit report, as is your right as a consumer. You are entitled to one free credit report each year from the three big credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian to check the information on your credit report. You also have the right to request more details about the investigation into disputes on your credit report.More >