The Fair Credit Reporting Act
Established in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was created to regularize agencies that issue reports about consumers. The reasoning was that setting up legal guidelines for reporting of credit and other types of information would help ensure accuracy. As your College Station bankruptcy lawyer can tell you, however, problems, and even violations, do occur.
Types of Information Covered by the Act
Despite its name, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers far more than simply the reporting of consumer credit worthiness. The act has come to include the gathering, retention, and dissemination of the following, among others:
- Bank matters, such as overdraft reports and back check writing
- Employee background reports
- Tenant screening
- Insurance information reporting
The law was designed both to protect consumers from unfair/inaccurate reporting, and to help agencies obtain accurate information so that they can make decisions that will protect their interests.
Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA
You may have heard commercials in the media advertising that you are entitled to a free annual copy of your credit report. This right derived directly out of the FCRA. Among other rights you have under the act are:
- The report you are issued must be complete, containing all of the information that is in your file as of the date of your request.
- You have a right to contest the accuracy and completeness of your report, and if you believe an error has been made you can file a dispute with the relevant credit reporting agency and company that produced the information.
- When an inaccuracy is found, the credit reporting agency is required to remove the information.
- Access to your private information is limited. The company/agency must have both a specific and legitimate purpose and your written permission. This requirement applies to prospective employers as well.
- If information in your report leads to an adverse action, such as denial of credit or application for rental, you must be informed of the fact. The name of the credit reporting agency must be included.
- If an agency violates the FCRA to your detriment, you have a right to sue.
If You Need Assistance with an FCRA Violation or Problem
Because issues related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act can be complicated, you should strongly consider working with a College Station bankruptcy lawyer. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.