An important piece of legislation that most average consumers seem woefully under-informed about is the FCRA, or Fair Credit Reporting Act. We believe it is important that all Ohio residents have at least a working understanding of this law. Without such an understanding, they are at risk for being taken advantage of by debt collectors.
The FCRA was passed in 1977 as a consumer protection measure. It is intended to protect the credit of everyday people and ensure that credit reporting agencies conduct themselves ethically and responsibly.
Under the FCRA, credit reporting agencies (businesses that compile records of an individual’s borrowing and repayment) must:
- Provide a consumer with information about him or her in the agency’s files and to take steps to verify the accuracy of information if it is disputed by the consumer.
- In the event that negative information is removed as a result of a consumer’s dispute, it may not be reinserted without notifying the consumer in writing within five days.
- Credit reporting agencies are not allowed to keep negative information “for an excessive period.” What constitutes an “excessive period” depends on the matter at hand.
Also, creditors (organisations that lend people money or extend credit) have three important responsibilities:
- They must inform debtors that information that may harm their credit is being placed on their report 30 days before they do so.
- They must submit fair and accurate information to credit reporting agencies.
- They are under an obligation to thoroughly and fairly investigate disputed charges.
Even with the FCRA, however, there are some situations in which people still need the help of an attorney to manage their financial situation. If that describes you, please know that you can contact me at any time.