Can You Dispute a Credit Report?
Safeguarding Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to protect consumers from numerous credit-related issues, including unauthorized disclosure of credit history and erroneous credit reporting. Did a creditor report a debt on your credit report that was discharged through bankruptcy? This could be considered as an FCRA violation. These "willful violations" could potentially harm a consumer - for example, it could result in them being turned down for a credit card, loan, job, or apartment.
If you believe that your consumer rights were violated under the FCRA, Atlas Consumer Law may be able to help you. We are passionate about protecting the rights of our clients, which is why we created the Protect the Discharge program. Our Chicago credit lawyers will file a lawsuit on your behalf in order to make sure justice is served and that at-fault creditors are held accountable for their unlawful actions.
Not sure if your consumer rights have been violated? Call us at (312) 313-1613 to schedule a consultation or file a complaint online.
What is the FCRA?
Enacted in 1970 and substantially amended in 2003, the Fair Credit Reporting Act restricts who has access to your credit information and how that information can be used, among other things. Its purpose is to protect your privacy as well as the integrity and accuracy of your personal information. The FCRA provides remedies if a credit reporting agency (such as Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax) or other furnisher of information violates your rights.
Your Rights Under FCRA
Here is a brief list of your rights as a consumer under the FCRA:
- You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. If you apply for a loan or line of credit and your application is denied or rejected based on information obtained by running your credit report, the party who denied you must inform you of what they found in your report and used against you. They must also give you the information for the agency that reported this issue, and give you the contact information so you can resolve the problem.
- You have the right to keep access to your credit report limited. Credit reporting agencies are required to keep your information guarded and may only grant access to those who have a “valid need,” such as creditors who are considering an application, insurers, employers, landlords, or other businesses.
- You have the right to dispute inaccurate information. If you find information in your file that is false, inaccurate, or incomplete, you have the right to report the information to the credit reporting agency, and the agency must investigate the issue unless they deem your complaint to be frivolous.
- You have the right to know what’s in your credit report. A consumer reporting agency may not deny you the ability to see the information they have on you in full. You will need to properly identify yourself (which means you may need to give your social security number in order to ensure you receive the right report). However, if you request your report from an agency, they must give it to you in full.
- You may be entitled to a free report from a credit reporting agency. Sometimes agencies require a small fee to obtain your credit report. If so, you may be entitled to have that fee waived if you meet one of these special circumstances: someone has taken adverse action against you because of your credit report, you’re the victim of identity fraud, you are on public assistance, your file contains inaccurate information, or you are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
- You have the right to know your credit score. Credit scores are numbers used to assign a value to your credit history and worthiness based on the information in your file. You may request your credit score from these reporting agencies, but you may have to pay a fee in order to obtain it.
- You may seek damages from violators. If you’ve been wrongfully impacted by an error in your credit report or your rights have been willfully disregarded, you may be able to hold the violator in question responsible and sue them for damages.
If you’ve suffered damages from an erroneous or inaccurate credit report, the first thing you should do is file a complaint with the reporting agency itself, indicating what information you’re disputing and why. The company is required to investigate this claim, so long as it’s not frivolous, and then report their decision back to you. If the party responsible refuses to correct the error, you may file a complaint against them with the appropriate regulator.
Why Are Your Attorney Fees Paid by the Creditor?
When you seek our firm's assistance with your FCRA case, you can feel peace of mind in knowing that your attorney fees will be paid by the at-fault creditor. Creditors who violate the FCRA are held liable for attorney fees in order to ensure that wronged debtors seek legal representation without having to worry about financial implications.
- With our help, you may obtain compensation for the following:
- Actual damages or statutory damages (up to $1,000)
- Attorney fees
- Punitive damages (if you were harmed as a result of the violation)
Protecting Chicago Consumers from FCRA Violations
As your source for all things consumer law, we are confident in our abilities to effectively represent you. Our credit lawyers in Chicago, Illinois have a proven track record of success and the seasoned litigation skills required to tackle these kinds of cases. In fact, our firm's principal attorney has a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating! Our knowledge regarding past FCRA cases can be advantageous to your situation.
- Some important FCRA cases include:
- Dixon-Rollins v. Experian Information Solutions, U.S. District Court, Eastern District
- Rice v. Montgomery Ward & Co., Inc.
- Bils v. Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle
After carefully reviewing all the details of your case and confirming that your case is valid, we will initiate legal proceedings against the creditor who violated your rights. We will work relentlessly towards obtaining a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Give us a call to begin taking legal action against creditors who have violated your rights under the FCRA.