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If my FCRA rights have been violated, who can I sue and what can I get?

You Have Rights After Your FCRA Rights Have Been ViolatedGreat question! In other words, is it worth your time and effort to go after the CRA, information furnisher, or information user who violated your rights? I say yes, and I’ll tell you why.

First, Who Can You Sue?

Ok, so I just rattled off a few potentially liable parties. Let me explain who they are and how they may violate your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

  • CRA. This stands for Credit Reporting Agency and it refers to the three agencies that collect financial information about you—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If a CRA grants access to your report to an unauthorized party, fails to remove old data, or violates any other provision of the FCRA, they can be sued.
  • Information furnishers. These are the banks, creditors, lenders, and collection agencies that give the CRAs information about you. If they provide inaccurate or private information, they may be liable for damages.
  • Information users. Landlords, creditors, and employers use information from your credit report to make important decisions about you. If they violate your rights in any way, they may have to pay you damages.

Once I figure out where the violation occurred, I will know who to go after.

What Can You Collect Under The Fair Reporting Act?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may be eligible to collect the following:

  • Actual damages. This is a dollar amount you can prove you have lost as a direct result of the violation. There is no limit to these damages.
  • Statutory damages. These can total anywhere from $100 to $1000, depending on the violation. You do not have to prove that you suffered losses to sue for these damages, you just have to show that the violation occurred.
  • Punitive damages. If a violator acted willfully and in an egregious manner, a judge may order him to pay punitive damages of any amount.
  • Attorney’s fees. Yes, you read that right! If I prove there was a violation, the liable party has to pay my fees, too. YOU PAY ME NOTHING OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET!         

So, What Should You Do First If Your FCRA Rights Have Been Violated?

That’s an easy question. The first thing you should do is contact me to help you determine if there has been a violation and what to do next. These laws exist for a reason and it is worth pursuing the violators of the law—not only because you can get back the money you lost—and then some—but because it holds these parties responsible for abusing the law. Call me at 855.982.2400 to get started!

 

Michael F. Cardoza, Esq.
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U.S. Marine & Consumer Financial Protection Attorney dedicated to fighting debt and credit bureau harassment.