The Importance of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”) is a federal law Piggy _bankthat regulates the use of consumer credit
and other background information.  The FCRA was created to
ensure the distribution of accurate information about each consumer
and provide adequate notice and information to consumers whose
credit or employment is affected by the information collected and
disseminated.  Today, in our strained economy, your credit is
more essential than ever to staying adrift and it is important to
know your rights under the law.  Plus, with many more
companies performing background checks on potential employees,
because of the ease of obtaining this information, it is crucial to
know what information is out there about you.  It can cost you
a job.

As explained in previous posts
credit or consumer reports affect several aspects of your life
-from whether you get a mortgage to your job application. 
Consumers who pay off their debts in full and on time every month
generally have good credit scores making it easier to obtain even
more credit at low interest rates.  On the contrary, consumers
who cannot pay off their debt and continue to make late payments
allowing their debt to accumulate, have a difficult time getting
credit and suffer increased interest rates.  Low credit scores
make it even harder to get on top of your expenses or be approved
for additional credit.   Previous posts on this topic
include Disputed
Accounts Reported on Your Credit
and Spring
Cleaning Your Credit Report


Credit Reporting Agencies
have been in existence since the
early 1900s, reporting information on each consumer.  Since
its inception, there have been accompanying issues such as
distribution of inaccurate information and dissemination to any
party to review a consumer’s private report.  As a result, the
FCRA was enacted in the 1970s to protect consumers from
dissemination of this private information and to establish rights
in an industry that drives your financial well-being. 

The FCRA imposes important
duties upon credit reporting agencies
(“CRAs”) that every
consumer should concern themselves with.  Under this law, a
CRA must provide consumers with the information contained in their
individual file, and take action to verify any information disputed
by the consumer.  Negative information can only be reported on
a consumer’s file for a set period of time, generally around 7 to
10 years, providing the consumer with an opportunity to have a
fresh start.  In the event that negative information is
disputed and subsequently removed from the consumer’s
credit report
, a CRA must inform the consumer in writing within
five days before re-reporting the information.  Furthermore,
recent amendments to the FCRA allows consumers to obtain one free
copy of their credit report a year from annualcreditreport.com in order to ensure the
information being reported is accurate and to allow consumers the
opportunity to dispute any
inaccuracies

If you feel your rights have been violated under the FCRA you
have a right to file suit under the Act and may be entitled to
damages as a result.  Contact
SmithMarco P.C.
for a free consultation.