The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted back in 1970. It regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, especially consumer credit information. The best example of this would be the information found on your credit reports. This law regulates (1) the credit agencies that collect this information, (2) the businesses and other entities who report the information, and (3) businesses or agencies who use this information. When this information is mishandled it can have serious consequences for the consumer. It can affect your ability to buy or rent a home, buy a car, or even obtain certain jobs.
Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
This federal law gives you the right to fair and accurate reporting of your credit information. It also gives you the right to be protected from misuse of this information, and certain privacy rights when it comes to your credit information. It also gives you the right to file a lawsuit against a business or agency who violates the law and under certain circumstances actually collect damages. A large number of individual’s credit reports contain errors, so even if you have not yet run into a problem trying to obtain credit, you should check your credit report for errors at least once a year.
Willful Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
In cases where you can show a willful violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be able to collect damages. A willful violation happens when the violating entity either knowingly or recklessly violated the law. This means that they either knew they were failing to meet their obligations under the act, or that they should have known. In these cases you can collect your actual damages, or statutory damages. The statutory damages are within a set range to be determined by the Court and do not require you to prove the amount of financial damage you have suffered. If the violator is an individual who lied to get access to your credit report then you can recover actual damages of a set amount If the Court determines it is appropriate to do so, it can also award punitive damages. It can also order the violator to pay the court costs and your attorney’s fees.
Negligent Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
A negligent violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act happens when an entity fails to exercise the care a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances and in doing so it unintentionally causes you harm by violating the Act. In these cases you can recover whatever actual damages you can prove. There is no alternative statutory damage amount like there is in the case of willful violations.
Call Bromberg Law Office, P.C.
New York Attorney Brian Bromberg can use the Fair Credit Reporting Act to fight for your consumer protection rights. When you are involved in one of these disputes you need someone with experience on your side. An agency or business failing to fulfill its obligations under the law can have serious and long lasting consequences for you if you do not act quickly.
Call today at 212-248-7906 or fill out the contact form below.