A good credit score is crucial to being able to secure a mortgage or buy a car. And, because your credit score has such an impact on your daily life, the three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – are required by law to make sure that your information is reported without errors.
Unfortunately, 34% of American consumers have found credit reporting errors on their credit reports, and, for many of these consumers, they don’t find out about the errors until they’re applying for a loan or credit card.
If you find false information on your credit report, you may be able to file a lawsuit in order to recover money damages, including actual and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Victims of false credit reporting have a legal right to sue for violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act or “FCRA” or for violations of the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (“CCRAA”).
Both are similar in their intent which is to protect consumers and borrowers from the negative consequences of having erroneous or false information on their credit reports. The FCRA provides rules about who can access your credit report, what can be reported and for how long it can be reported, and what the credit reporting agencies and information suppliers, called “furnishers,” must do if you dispute any information.
Factors to consider
If you can demonstrate that the credit reporting agency, information furnisher, or entity using the false or inaccurate information willfully violated its obligations per FCRA rules, you may be able to recover some or all of the following damages:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages or earnings
- Lost credit borrowing opportunities
- Emotional distress and/or worry about false credit information
- Injury to your reputation
In addition, you may be able to get a court order to remove credit reporting errors and/or false information from your credit report.
The recovery process
Before you can file a lawsuit against a credit reporting agency for false and/or erroneous information on your credit report, you must officially dispute the credit report. To do this, you must send a letter or other communication asking the CRA to correct the information; you can also send a letter to the furnisher alerting them to the problem.
If the CRA fails to conduct a proper investigation and then send corrected information and/or delete the errors, the furnisher will be liable under the FCRA as well as the California CCRAA. Additionally, the CRA is potentially liable for failure to conduct an investigation, for not having “reasonable procedures”, and other violations.
If you want to sue for credit reporting errors, contact the Law Offices of Robert Brennan, APC, FCRA attorney in Los Angeles, to set up a free legal consultation to find out if filing a lawsuit will get you the result that you’re after. Our firm is recognized as the leading law firm for cases under the FCRA and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in Southern California.