Legal Notice

Consumer Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)Consumers also have a right to see their own credit reports. By law, they are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major bureaus. They can request their reports at the official, government-authorized website for that purpose, AnnualCreditReport.com. Under FCRA, consumers also have a right to:Verify the accuracy of their report when it's required for employment purposes.Receive notification if information in their file has been used against them in applying for credit or other transactions.Dispute—and have the bureau correct—information in their report that is incomplete or inaccurate, in an effort to repair their credit.Remove outdated, negative information (after seven years in most cases, 10 in the case of bankruptcy).If the credit bureau fails to respond to their request in a satisfactory manner, a consumer can file a complaint with the CFPB.Example of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Say that somebody is looking to rent an apartment and the landlord denies their application, claiming it is because of their credit score. The potential tenant believes this to be a lie, suspecting that it is because of their skin color or religion instead, which is an unlawful reason to deny the lease.Under the FCRA, you can request your credit report and see if the information you receive is in line with the landlord's claims. You can also see if the landlord actually pulled your credit or simply lied about it. If a violation did occur, the landlord could be fined.What Are FCRA Reporting Requirements?The FCRA requires that a lender, insurer, landlord, employer, or anybody else seeking somebody's credit report have a legally permissible purpose to obtain the report. The FCRA also states that credit rating agencies must remove negative credit information after seven years and bankruptcies after seven–10 years (depending on the type of bankruptcy involved).What Are the Penalties for Not Complying With FCRA?Each violation may carry a fine of between $100 and $1,000. If damages are incurred, actual and punitive damages may also be imposed in addition to attorney's fees. Criminal charges may apply if somebody knowingly and willfully obtains information from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses.What Are an Employer’s Obligations Under FCRA?An employer or potential employer may request an individual's credit report for internal purposes only. The individual must have consented to such a request, and the employer must specify it is being pulled only for employment purposes.Who Enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?As a federal law, the enforcement of the FCRA falls to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).