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Why You Should Hire an FCRA Attorney

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs the behavior of consumer reporting agencies, sometimes called “credit bureaus.” Creditors, landlords, and employers often rely on information in these reports when making decisions about whether to extend you credit, hire you for a job, or rent to you. When mistakes are made in these reports, an fcra attorney can help you file suit to correct them. An fcra attorney can also take on debt collectors who harass you or try to collect erroneous debts that you do not owe.

Inaccurate information in a credit report can cause serious harm to your financial life. It can result in you not getting a loan or credit card, being turned down for employment, or not being able to rent an apartment. It can even lead to lawsuits and bankruptcy. When these errors are fixed, the credit reporting agency is required to send you notice of such corrections. In some cases, the agency may be obligated to give you actual damages. The law allows you to sue for statutory damages between $100 and $1,000, and in some cases punitive damages, in addition to your attorney’s fees and costs.

If you discover inaccuracies on your credit report, it’s important to contact a fcra attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will be able to help you request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major CRAs and can dispute any inaccurate information with them. The CRAs are required to investigate your dispute and, if they find any inaccuracies, to correct them within 30 days. They are also required to add a note to your report explaining any inaccuracies they did not verify.

A good fcra attorney can also help you sue creditors and information suppliers that violate the FCRA. These include businesses that do background checks for hiring purposes, and companies that supply this information to CRAs. When these entities do not follow the FCRA, they can be sued for up to $7.5 million in damages.

These damages can be awarded to you if you can show that the entity knew or should have known it was violating your rights and didn’t care. In some instances, you can even recover your fcra attorneys fees if the court finds that the violation was willful.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission imposed a $3.5 million fine against TeleCheck Services, which provides check verification services for businesses. In this case, the company failed to provide job applicants with a separate disclosure of their background check when it was used for adverse action. The court ruled that this was a willful violation of the FCRA and ordered the company to pay the penalties. In another FCRA case, the court ruled that Chuck E Cheese’s did not provide job applicants with separate disclosure forms for their background checks, and that this was a willful violation of FCRA. The lawsuit is pending.

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