Credit – Part 3: Remedies Available For Violations of The Fair Credit Reporting Act

This entry was posted on Sunday, March 5th, 2017 and is filed under Uncategorized.

This is Part 3 of 3 on our series regarding credit disputes and related claims.  In Part 1, we shared an overview of credit and how it impacts our financial lives.  In Part 2, we explained how to dispute inaccuracies to the credit bureaus and reporting entities.  Today in Part 3, we discuss the remedies provided under law when the bureaus and reporter fail to address your legitimate credit dispute.

Remedies Available Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

If a credit bureau or company furnishing credit information does not correct inaccurate information after you have disputed it in writing, then you can seek relief under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).  The FCRA provides a mechanism to not only correct your credit report, but also to recover damages and other monetary compensation.

Remedies for Negligent Conduct

If you prove that the violation of the FCRA was done negligently, then you are entitled to have your credit information reported accurately and to recover compensation, including:

  • actual damages
  • attorney fees and costs.

Remedies for Willful Conduct

If you can show that the violation of the FCRA was willful, meaning the bureau or company knew that they were violating your rights or acted recklessly, then you may be entitled to recover:

  • actual damages, or statutory damages of $100 and $1,000
  • punitive damages, to punish the wrongful conduct
  • attorney fees and costs.

Time Limits of Filing an FCRA Claim

Any FCRA complaint must be filed no later than:

  • two years after the date you discovered the violation, or
  • five years after the date of the violation.

These time limits are strict.  To protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible after a dispute is discovered.

Penalty for Filing a Frivolous FCRA Lawsuit

The FCRA also has a penalty if the Court finds that the lawsuit was filed in “bad faith or for purposes of harassment”.  If the Court finds that the lawsuit was filed in bad faith and without a reasonable belief that the claims made were truthful, you could be ordered to pay the other side’s attorney fees.

 

By Edward Angwin and GianDominic Vitiello, March 4, 2017.