Fair Credit Reporting Act Essay

Submitted By angilmore
Words: 725
Pages: 3

Fair Credit Reporting Act. Congress enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in 1970. During this time, there were numerous cases of improper use of consumer’s private information being incorrectly reported to Credit Reporting Agencies. FCRA was enacted to promote accuracy, fairness, and the privacy of personal information collected by Credit Reporting Agencies (ftc.gov). It was the first law that required accurate and fair consumer reporting (debt).
A credit report contains important information about a consumer, individual. It not only contains information about a consumer’s finances, but also personal information such as his/her identity, work place, address, age, martial status and public record information. The companies that are considered either credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus collect and sell credit reports to businesses, which evaluate applications for credit, insurance, employment, and other purposes allowed under the federal law. They gather this information from credit grantors such as banks, savings and loans, credit unions, finance companies, and retailers. They don’t have the authority of whether or not credit is granted or denied (in.gov).
There are three large national credit bureaus that supply credit report: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. The credit bureaus and agencies must abide the circumstances in which a consumer’s credit is permissible. There has to be a connection with credit or collections transactions, employment purposes, underwriting insurance, court orders or at consumer’s written instruction. If for any reason a consumer is denied credit, insurance, or employment, a consumer has the right to know the information that is in the file and information that is used against them.
In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission has sued the three national credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. Experian has violated the state and federal law for more than two decades. In this particular case, Patricia Armour, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, has spent two years trying to correct information on her Experian credit report. In 2007, a second mortgage that was discharged when she filed for bankruptcy popped up as an unpaid debt for $40,000 in 2011. She provided numerous accounts of proof stating that the debt was discharged but Experian refused to fix the error (nytimes). As stated in FCRA, it allows consumers to check their reports for errors and requires credit bureaus to investigate their claims.
According to The Oregonian, a consumer for failing to correct information in a credit report also sued Equifax. Julie Miller of Marion County contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 to correct inaccurate information such as Social Security number, birthday, erroneous accounts and collection attempts. She first noticed a problem when she was denied credit at a bank. Her first action was to contact Equifax to request a copy of her credit report for her updated information. Equifax failed to respond to her request. As stated in the FCRA, credit