What Has to Happen for a Violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
A recent case from federal district court in Massachusetts makes it clear what has to happen in order to violate the credit reporting law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This decision sets forth five things that the consumer must prove:
- The credit report had inaccurate information,
- The credit reporting agency was notified of the inaccurate information,
- The credit reporting agency reported the dispute to the company that furnished the information, but the furnisher failed to investigate the disputed charges,
- The furnisher also failed to correct these disputed charges, and
- The furnisher’s failure caused the consumer to suffer a detriment, i.e., damages.
If all these facts are not present, the case could be dismissed.
There are usually three parties involved in the credit-reporting process, which are the consumer, the credit bureau, and the furnisher. The furnisher is the company that is reporting information about the consumer to the credit bureau. If the consumer submits a dispute to the credit bureau, the furnisher is required to do an investigation and correct anything inaccurate that it was reporting.
Consumers often find inaccurate information on their credit reports. When they submit disputes to the credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — the inaccurate information often is not corrected.
This case shows one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the credit reporting process: the dispute. Not only does the information have to be inaccurate, the consumer must also dispute the inaccuracy before they have additional rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
You can obtain your three free credit reports by calling 877-322-8228 or by visiting annualcreditreport.com. If you see errors on your credit report, use our Free Credit Report Dispute Kit to properly dispute any incorrect items and best set yourself up for any possible claims.
The case is Camacho v. JP Morgan Chase.