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Lawsuits against credit reporting agencies

We sue the three national credit bureaus; creditors, debt collectors and other companies that report incorrect, negative information to credit bureaus; and companies that misuse your credit information, for violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information. Whenever a creditor, debt collector or credit bureau violates your rights under the FCRA, you can recover up to $1,000 PER VIOLATION or your Actual Damages (see below), plus PUNITIVE DAMAGES, attorney's fees and court costs.

LAWSUITS AGAINST CREDIT BUREAUS

Under the FCRA you may sue a credit bureau for violation of any of the following rules:

• A credit bureau must investigate, change or remove any incorrect data from your credit report.

• Credit bureaus may not retain negative information for more than seven years from the last payment made. The exceptions to this rule are that bankruptcies may be reported for 10 years after the bankruptcy discharge and tax liens can be reported for seven years from the time they are paid.

• Credit reports can be issued only to those with a legitimate business reason. These include creditors, employers, landlords, insurers and government agencies, or anyone else for whom you request a report.

• You must give your consent for a credit report to be issued to a potential employer or landlord.

• Credit bureaus are required to help you understand your credit report.

LAWSUITS AGAINST CREDITORS, DEBT COLLECTORS AND OTHERS WHO REPORT FALSE OR INCOMPLETE CREDIT INFORMATION TO CREDIT BUREAUS

A credit information furnisher is a company that provides information to credit bureaus. Information furnishers include creditors, debt collectors (collection agencies), credit card companies, auto finance companies, mortgage lenders, state and city courts, and employers. Under the FCRA you may sue a credit information furnisher for violation of any of the following rules:

• An information furnisher must provide complete and accurate information to the credit bureaus.

• If you dispute an entry on your credit report, the information furnisher must correct any error, or explain why the credit report is correct within 30 days of receipt of notice of a dispute.

• The information furnisher must correct inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.

• The information furnisher must notify all credit bureaus where they sent incorrect information of any error.

• An information furnisher must inform consumers about negative information which has been or is about to be placed on a consumer's credit report within 30 days.
LAWSUITS AGAINST USERS OF CREDIT INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM CREDIT BUREAUS

Under the FCRA you may sue a user of credit information for credit, insurance, or employment purposes (including background checks) for violation of any of the following rules:

• Users of credit information must notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of such reports.

• Users of credit information must identify the company that provided the report, so that consumers may verify or dispute the information in the report.

Damages:

If someone violates your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can recover the following damages:

1. UP TO $1,000 PER VIOLATION or your “Actual Damages” (see below)

2. PUNITIVE DAMAGES

3. Attorneys’ fees.

4. The costs of the lawsuit.


"ACTUAL DAMAGES" FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

The following is a list of "actual damages" that you may be able to recover when a creditor, debt collector, credit bureau, credit information furnisher or credit information user violates your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is not a complete list of all possible damages recoverable under the FCRA. You may have suffered different or additional damages that are not on the list.

1. Monetary damages.

Inaccurate negative information on your credit report may cost you money due to loss of employment, loss of credit needed to conduct your business, higher insurance premiums or denial of coverage, fees paid to attorneys, debt settlement companies and others for assistance with credit issues prior to bringing suit, and other costs and expenses of being denied credit and attempting to correct incorrect negative credit information.

2. Damages for emotional distress may include stress-related injuries and conditions such as the following:

Heart attack, angina, chest constrictions; miscarriage; ulcers, diabetic flare-up; shock; loss of appetite; crying; nightmares; insomnia, night sweats; emotional paralysis; inability to think or function at work; headaches; shortness of breath; anxiety, nervousness; fear and worry; hypertension (elevation of blood pressure); stress to children; irritability; hysteria; embarrassment, humiliation; indignation, and pain and suffering.

If you suffer from one or more of the above conditions as a result of a creditor, debt collector, credit bureau, credit information furnisher or credit information user violating your legal rights, you may be entitled to a substantial monetary recovery, equivalent to the amount you could recover in a personal injury case involving similar injuries.

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