The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law designed to improve the confidentiality and accuracy of credit reports used by businesses when evaluating your application.
Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
Per the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), when creditors evaluate a credit application, they cannot lawfully engage in discriminatory practices. The ECOA prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance. Creditors may ask for this information (except religion) in certain situations, but may not use it to discriminate when deciding whether to grant you credit.
The ECOA protects consumers who deal with companies that regularly extend credit, including banks, small loan and finance companies, retail and department stores, credit card companies and credit unions. Everyone who participates in the decision to grant credit, including real estate brokers who arrange financing, must follow this law. Businesses applying for credit also are protected by this law.
Your rights under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act:
It is important to check credit billing and electronic fund transfer (EFT) account statements regularly. These documents may contain mistakes or reflect improper charges or transfers. If you find an error or discrepancy, notify the company and contest the error immediately.
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) establish procedures for resolving credit billing disputes and mistakes on electronic fund transfer account statements, including:
The FCBA applies only to "open end" credit accounts — credit and charge cards, revolving charge accounts (such as department store accounts), and overdraft checking accounts. It does not apply to installment loans or credit sales that are paid according to a fixed schedule until the entire amount is paid back, such as an automobile loan. The EFTA applies to electronic fund transfers, such as those involving automatic teller machines (ATMs), point-of-sale debit transactions, and other electronic banking transactions.
You are responsible for your debts. If you fall behind in paying your creditors, you may be contacted by a "debt collector." A debt collector is any person, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to others. This includes collection agencies and lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis. You have the right to be treated fairly by debt collectors.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to personal, family and household debts. This includes money owed for the purchase of a car, for medical care or for credit card accounts. The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices while collecting these debts.
Your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
An investigation may not resolve your dispute with the credit bureau. If that's the case, ask the credit bureau to include your statement of the dispute in your file and in future reports. If requested, the credit bureau also will provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of the old report in the recent past. There usually is a fee for this service.
If you tell the information provider that you dispute an item, a notice of your dispute must be included anytime the information provider reports the item to a credit bureau.
If the investigation does not produce the results you need, and inaccurate information in your credit report is causing you harm, you may consider hiring a lawyer to help resolve your credit dispute, as a last resort.
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