Established in 1971, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was created to protect the privacy and integrity of credit information and how it is handled. Given that credit information is integral to our contemporary economy, there was a need to establish guidelines that ensure the accuracy of information gathered by credit reporting agencies, or CRAs. If you believe that an error has been made in your credit report and you are filing bankruptcy, your College Station bankruptcy lawyer can help.
What Are CRAs and How Are They Obligated to Handle Credit?
Credit reporting agencies are credit bureaus that gather information about consumer credit and sell it to prospective employers, landlords, and companies that offer credit. Most notable among these bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. These CRAs are obligated to abide by certain guidelines when handling your credit, including:
- If you request information about how a file was collected on you, provide this, and for free.
- Assign a score to your credit and make this available to you upon request.
- Conduct an investigation into any credit information that you dispute, with a few exceptions, and correct or delete any information that is found to be inaccurate, or unverifiable. This is to be done within 30 days of your notification to them of the problem.
- Keep your credit file current by removing old information, usually defined as that which is older than seven to ten years.
- Refrain from providing information about your credit to prospective employers unless you provide written consent.
- Make sure that requests for your file from third parties are legitimate, including whether or not the need is actually valid.
- Establish and abide by a procedure for responding to identity theft notices.
Those who use your credit information have obligations under the FCRA as well. For instance, if a credit card company turns you down based on the credit information they obtained about you, they are required to notify you of this fact. If a CRA or creditor violates a provision in the FCRA you have the right to sue them for damages in state or federal court.
What to Do if a CRA or Creditor Is Not Responding to Your Complaint
It is very important that you protect your credit file by demanding that inaccurate information be removed. If you are not receiving cooperation in such a matter it may be in your best interests to work with a College Station bankruptcy attorney. Call Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681 today.