Article by Vanessa Doguiles
How Does The Fcra Protect My Credit Report? – Finance – Credit
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The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. There are many types of consumer reporting agencies, including credit bureaus and specialty agencies (such as agencies that sell information about check writing histories, medical records, and rental history records). Here is a summary of your major rights under the FCRA. For more information, including information about additional rights, go to http://www.ftc.gov/credit or write to: Consumer Response Center, Room 130-A, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave.
N.W., Washington, DC 20580.
You must be told if information in your file has been used against you. Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny your application for credit, insurance, or employment – or to take another adverse action against you – must tell you, and must give you the name, address and phone number of the agency that provided the information.
You have the right to know what is in your file. You may request and obtain all the information about you in the files of a consumer reporting agency (your “file disclosure”). You will be required to provide proper identification, which may include your Social Security number. In many cases, the disclosure will be free.
You are entitled to a free file disclosure if:
A person has taken adverse action against you because of information in your credit report;
You are the victim of identify theft and place a fraud alert in your file;
Your file contains inaccurate information as a result of fraud;
You are on public assistance;
You are unemployed but expect to apply for employment within 60 days.
In addition, by September 2005 all consumers will be entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies. See http://www.ftc.gov/credit for additional information.
You have the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of your credit worthiness based on information from credit bureaus. You may request a credit score from consumer reporting agencies that create scores or distribute scores used in residential real property loans, but you will have to pay for it. In some mortgage transactions, you will receive credit score information for free from the mortgage lender.
You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information. If you identify information in your file that is incomplete or inaccurate and report it to the consumer reporting agency, the agency must investigate unless your dispute is frivolous. See http://www.ftc.gov/credit for an explanation of dispute procedures.
Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information. Inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information must be removed or corrected, usually within 30 days. However, a consumer reporting agency may continue to report information it has verified as accurate.
Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is more than seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old.
Access to your file is limited. A consumer reporting agency may provide information about you only to people with a valid need – usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord, or other business. The FCRA specifies those with a valid need for access.
You must give your consent for reports to be provided to employers. A consumer reporting agency may not give out information about you to your employer, or a potential employer, without your written consent given to the employer. Written consent generally is not required in the trucking industry. For more information, go to http://www.ftc.gov/credit.
You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you get based on information in your credit report. Unsolicited “prescreened” offers for credit and insurance must include a toll-free phone number you can call if you choose to remove your name and address from the lists these offers are based on. You may opt-out with the nationwide credit bureaus at 1-888-567-8688.
You may seek damages from violators. If a consumer reporting agency, or, in some cases, a user of consumer reports or a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be able to sue in state or federal court.
Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have additional rights. For more information, visit http://www.ftc.gov/credit
States may enforce the FCRA, and many states have their own consumer reporting laws. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General.
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), which is a subset of the more comprehensive Truth in Lending Act, which essentially tells original creditors how they should behave. http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcb/fcb.pdf
Have you ever been billed for merchandise you returned or never received? Has your credit card company ever charged you twice for the same item or failed to credit a payment to your account? While frustrating, these errors can be corrected. It takes a little patience and knowledge of the dispute settlement procedures provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA).
The law applies to “open end” credit accounts, such as credit cards, and revolving charge accounts – such as department store accounts. It does not cover installment contracts – loans or extensions of credit you repay on a fixed schedule. Consumers often buy cars, furniture and major appliances on an installment basis, and repay personal loans in installments as well.
About The Author: Drew Canole, is President of Waterfield Credit a credit education, and repair company that has been in business for 5 years. Drew, has just recently published The 57 Day Challenge To A 720 Credit Score. For some more Free information check out http://www.57daychallenge.com
About the Author
WATERFIELD ON NBC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx5vnjNnBbA
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