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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Is Your Credit Report Wrong? Here's Who to Sue!

Updated: May 22

The FCRA is a federal law that regulates how credit reporting agencies collect, access, use, and share consumer information. It aims to ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of your information. The law provides specific rights and remedies if these standards are not met, protecting you from harm that can arise from errors or misuse of your credit information.


If you've discovered that your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have been violated, you might be wondering who you can hold accountable and what kind of compensation you can receive. The good news is that there are clear pathways to seek justice, and understanding your rights can empower you to take the necessary steps.


Credit Report


Key Definitions and Considerations


1. Willful Violation: Proving a willful violation means showing that the CRA or other entity acted recklessly, knowing they were likely violating your rights.


2. Negligent Violation: To prove negligence, you must show that the entity failed to meet its obligations under the FCRA, leading to harm.


3. Frivolous Lawsuits: Be cautious of filing claims in bad faith, as you may be required to pay the other party's attorney fees if your case is deemed frivolous. 


Who Can You Sue?

Under the FCRA, several parties can be held liable for violating your rights:


1. Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs)

a) What They Are: These are the big three—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—that collect and report your financial information.

b) Potential Violations: Granting access to your credit report to unauthorized parties, failing to remove outdated information, or not correcting errors.


2. Information Furnishers 

a) What They Are: These include banks, creditors, lenders, and collection agencies that supply information to CRAs.

b) Potential Violations: Providing inaccurate, outdated, or private information to CRAs.


3. Information Users

a) What They Are: Landlords, employers, and creditors who use your credit report to make decisions. 

b) Potential Violations: Using your credit report without proper authorization or violating your rights in other ways. Once you identify where the violation occurred, you can determine which party to pursue in court.


What Can You Collect Under the FCRA?

If your FCRA rights are violated, you may be eligible for several types of compensation:


1. Actual Damages   

- What They Are: These are the direct financial losses you can prove were caused by the violation. There is no upper limit to these damages.   

- Example: Loss of a job opportunity due to inaccurate credit information.


2. Statutory Damages   

- What They Are: These range from $100 to $1,000 per violation and do not require you to prove actual harm.   

- Example: Suing for unauthorized access to your credit report.


3. Punitive Damages   

- What They Are: Awarded if the violation was willful or egregious. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter future violations.   

- Example: A CRA deliberately failing to correct known errors in your report.


4. Attorney’s Fees   

- What They Are: If you win your case, the liable party must pay your legal fees. This means you don't pay out of pocket for your lawyer.   

- Example: Your attorney successfully proves a violation, and the defendant covers the legal costs. 


Steps to Take if Your FCRA Rights Are Violated

1. Document the Violation: Keep detailed records of all communications and any evidence of the violation.


2. File a Dispute: Notify the CRA and the information furnisher of the error and request a correction.


3. Consult a Lawyer: Talk to a consumer protection lawyer to assess the strength of your case and navigate the legal process.


4. File a Lawsuit: You can file your complaint in federal or state court within the statute of limitations (two years from discovering the violation or five years from when it occurred). 


Understanding your rights under the FCRA and knowing who to hold accountable is crucial for protecting your financial reputation. If you believe your rights have been violated, pursuing legal action can lead to compensation for your losses and help prevent future violations. For more detailed guidance and to evaluate your case, consider consulting Tariq Law PC. We can provide expert advice and help you navigate the complexities of FCRA litigation.


If you're ready to take control of your credit report recovery journey, we encourage you to contact our office at 212-804-9095 for a case review. Our dedicated attorneys are here to assist you every step of the way. Together, we can work towards restoring your financial well-being and securing your future.


Thank you for trusting Tariq Law PC as your partner in this journey towards credit report recovery. We look forward to helping you regain control and financial stability.

 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney for personalized guidance on your specific situation.

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