Individuals who fall victim to an FCRA violation need to know their rights. Almost always, their first response is emotional. However, they need to know there is help for them.
With at least one in ten people victimized by identity theft, that help is more important than ever. But, of course, many cases of credit rating damage happens because of clerical errors. In addition, there is so much data now that old debts can be reopened by accident.
Whatever the case, it’s important for them to take a deep breath and learn where help is available. With experts in the field of fair credit reporting, people can recover their good name.
They came to you for legal help because there’s a lot to know about FCRA violations. To learn how the process works, keep reading for a guide on correcting damages to consumer credit.
Every FCRA Violation Is Unique
An understanding of the different types of FCRA violations is important to know. Each comes with a unique set of information sources. So they’re all investigated by different means.
These are the most common FCRA violations that can create credit rating damage.
1. Outdated Information
CRAs that fail to report bankruptcy discharges or aged paid debts are in violation. With the rise in the amount of data today, this can happen at any time.
2. Inaccurate Information
Creditors sometimes submit wrong balance amounts or on-time payments as late. At times, they will charge for a debt that the debtor paid in full, which is a mistake often caused by human error.
3. Mixing Personal Files
For example, files from one person get applied to someone with a similar name in error. Another example is Social Security numbers or zip codes getting transposed by accident.
4. Noncompliance With Followup Information
CRAs or creditors are in violation if they fail to follow up an open investigation when requested. In addition, FCRA regulations stipulate they must comply with complete information.
5. Invasion of Privacy
Credit reports cannot be released to unauthorized parties. Only business organizations recognized as lawful will request credit reports.
6. Illegal Request
Employers and creditors are not allowed to pull reports without cause. Creditors who are no longer owed to may not request credit reports from old debtors.
7. Withholding of Information
Creditors are obliged to inform anyone they intend to request a credit report on.
Knowing how these violations differ helps before taking the next legal steps.
Take the First Step
Complaints about reporting errors can often get reversed with simple communication. Contact the creditor who filed the report first. The law requires credit reporting companies to supply information about claims.
Deal with the creditor who sent the report first. If the claim was an error, it could get resolved with the assistance of legal counsel.
The FCRA doesn’t mandate it, but a request in writing is always a better step. The paper trail helps if there is a breakdown in the process at any time.
If the dispute is not resolved, notify all three credit reporting agencies in writing. And go beyond standard complaint forms. They are not designed to cover all disputes the same way.
Be sure afterward to ask for a new report, so you have the newest information. Corrections don’t always get reflected on reports immediately. Often, large creditors are dealing with many cases, so stay on top of your claim.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission if the reporting agency does not comply. The next step will involve a full investigation of the claim in question.
Build the Case
This is where a comprehensive paper trail adds to the client’s case. Proof that efforts are made to correct the issue isn’t enough. Otherwise, the credit reporting agency would have reversed the incorrect claim.
To achieve a thorough FCRA violation assessment, hire a credit expert witness. Then, with time to study the case, the credit expert will delve into all the facts.
This investigation goes much deeper than the client’s credit history. The credit expert looks at the reporting patterns of the creditor as well. If the creditor has a history of violations, the FCRA expert witness will know.
To build a good case for the client, a balanced approach to information is vital. The FCRA expert witness presents an unbiased assessment of the facts. When a case reaches a courtroom, the credibility of witnesses is the key to success.
As a lawyer, you know the responsibilities of the parties involved in your case. In a court setting, the FCRA expert witness presents the facts with simple language. Their expertise is to put clinical data into understandable language.
Expert witnesses are also able to spot discrepancies before a trial takes place. That’s another reason why the expert witness is vital to the investigation process.
A complete and methodical process is the key to winning back a client’s rightful place. Maintaining the chain of events is essential to achieving that result.
Bring a qualified FCRA expert witness onto the case as early as possible. There are strict deadlines for all complaints reports.
With early awareness, an expert witness has time to collect and interpret the claim. It also gives legal counsel access to prepare solid testimony. As a result, every client gets the fighting chance they deserve.
The Difference Maker
The rate of FCRA violation complaints is going up year on year. So often, unfortunate but honest mistakes get resolved. Yet, too often, individuals fall victim to negligence or incompetence.
You know that when a client reaches out, you are their last chance for a positive result. So, the logical next step is to give your client all the resources they need to get back their reputation. But, again, an FCRA expert witness can make all the difference.
So, give us a call when your FCRA violation assessment demands the expertise of an expert witness.