The 6 Most Common Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations

While the list of Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) violations may seem endless, below is a list of the most common violations in no specific order.

1. Reporting inaccurate information

Creditors can only report information to the credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”) that is accurate and may be liable under the FCRA for failure to do so.  Examples of inaccurate reporting include:

  • Reporting inaccurate balances or payment history
  • Reporting a debt as charged off when it has been settled or paid in full
  • Reporting a debt that does not belong to you

If creditors report inaccurate information about your balances, debt, payment history, etc., this is a violation of the FCRA.

2. Providing and reporting outdated information

Information provided to the credit reporting agencies must be up to date.  Common violations of this conduct include:

  • Failing to report a discharge of bankruptcy
  • Re-aging an account to continue the reporting in an effort to receive payment
  • Reporting information more than seven years old

3. Merging credit files

CRAs have a duty to report accurate information and at times can mix the credit files of its consumers.  A common example of this conduct is duplicating negative credit information with a stranger who shares a similar name, social security number and/or other personal identifying information.

4. Failing to follow proper investigation procedures

When a CRA reports inaccurate information, you have a right to dispute the information and request an investigation.  In response, the CRAs must conduct a reasonable investigation into your claim and report back to you with its response.  Several situations in which the CRAs fail to comply include failing to inform a creditor of your dispute, failure to conduct a reasonable investigation into your dispute; failure to update or delete the inaccurate information from your report.

5. Requesting a credit report for an impermissible purpose

While there is a list of parties that have access to your credit report, there must be a permissible purpose for any party to review it or they will be in violation of the FCRA.  Some of these impermissible purposes include:

  • An employer pulling your report without your permission
  • A creditor of a paid and closed account pulling your report
  • A potential creditor that you have not applied for credit with accessing your report

6. Re-inserting previously deleted information

After a dispute is investigated and the CRA determines the information is inaccurate it must be deleted and cannot be re-inserted on your credit report unless you are first notified by the CRA.  If an account appears on your report after a CRA previously admitted to its inaccuracy by deleting, the CRA has a duty to notify you prior to its reinsertion or its conduct will violate the FCRA.

Contact us for a free case review

SmithMarco, P.C. has been protecting consumer rights since 2005 and handles Fair Credit Reporting Act cases. If information about you is inaccurately being reported, or if you feel that your rights have been violated, please contact us for a free case review.

Larry Smith

Consumer Rights Attorney at SmithMarco, P.C.
Larry P. Smith is a consumer attorney and the founder and Managing Partner at SmithMarco, P.C. He has tried dozens of consumer rights cases to verdict and has arbitrated over 700 cases. Additionally, he has amicably resolved over 3,000 consumer fraud, Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act cases via settlement. Mr. Smith has been a guest on multiple radio outlets including WLS and WGN in Chicago providing consumer advice. Mr. Smith also provides leadership and delivers lectures to the National Association of Consumer Advocates, The National Consumer Law Center, and the Chicago Bar Association.
Larry Smith