Fair Credit Reporting
A single negative tradeline on a credit report can be devastating to your FICO score. This means it will be harder to buy a home, get a car loan, or even rent an apartment. If your credit report is inaccurate, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law designed to protect you.
The FCRA applies to credit agencies that collect information about you. This includes the “Big Three” credit bureaus, namely Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It also, however, includes smaller local credit reporting agencies that gather data on you, such as FABCO, which reports on the payment histories of tenants in Ohio. The Fair Credit Reporting Act also applies to entities that supply information to credit bureaus as well, such as car dealerships and banks. These businesses are called “furnishers” in FCRA speak.
Under the FCRA, you have the right to dispute tradelines showing on your credit report. Credit bureaus and furnishers then have a duty to properly investigate your dispute. If they fail to do so, and they fail to correct the errors on your report, we may be able to bring a lawsuit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Who We Sue Under the FCRA
- Credit Bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion)
- Smaller Local Credit Agencies (such as FABCO)
- Car dealerships
- Banks and lenders
- Other entities that furnished false information regarding your credit history
What Are the Most Common Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations?
The most common violations include:
- Reporting debts that you have discharged in bankruptcy
- Leaving on debts that are more than seven years old
- “Re-aging” debts—that is, claiming debts are “newer” than they really are
- Reporting a debt as “charged off” when it was actually paid or settled
- Failing to properly investigate identity theft
- Mixing up your credit information with another person’s (often with a similar name)
- Listing you as a “debtor” on an account where you were actually just an “authorized user”
- The amount of the fee depends on the type of business and number of initial owners, and can if necessary be paid in installments. We offer these packages because we want to earn your business in the future, and we know that cash flow is often uncertain as a new business gets off the ground.
What Can You Win in a Fair Credit Reporting Act Suit?
Often, the most important thing consumers get from an FCRA suit is the peace of mind that comes with having a fixed credit report. But you are also entitled to your actual damages in court, which, in Ohio, can include your emotional distress damages. We love working with our clients to present their emotional damages (including headaches, difficulty sleeping, and so on) in the best possible way. You may also be entitled to statutory damages between $100 and $1,000. Lawsuits that involve “mixed files”—confusing your accounts with someone else’s—are often particularly valuable cases. Your first move is to get your free credit report.
How Are My Attorneys Paid?
We take FCRA cases on contingency—that is, on a “We-Don’t-Win-Unless-You-Win” basis. You won’t be charged for our legal fees out of pocket. We aim to recover our fees from the defendants in the case, and if we lose, you won’t owe us a penny.
Where We File Fair Credit Reporting Act Cases
We take FCRA cases throughout the entire state of Ohio—not just in the Columbus area. We also take cases throughout the Midwest. We are licensed in the federal courts in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, as well as in Western Tennessee and parts of New York.
Local Counsel Services for Out-of-State FCRA Attorneys
We are based in Columbus, Ohio and are licensed in the U.S. Federal District Courts for the Southern District of Ohio and Northern District of Ohio. For Fair Credit Reporting Act attorneys with national practices, we offer affordable local counsel services with flat rates as low as $550 per case or 15% of attorney fees. Our flat rate includes:
- Reviewing the Complaint and preparing the civil cover sheet and summons forms, ensuring compliance with applicable local rules (especially important in the Northern District of Ohio, which has unique forms)
- Electronically filing the Complaint
- Communicating with the Clerk of Courts if there are any issues in obtaining summonses or to handle any issues with the filing of the Complaint (a more common occurrence than you might think)
- Preparing and filing pro hac vice motions for you
- Advising you as to the correct Rule 26(f) form to use for each judge or magistrate
Any further services you require before trial, such as attendance as hearings or conferences, are typically billed at a reduced hourly rate.
We love talking to consumers and helping them get their credit reports back on the right track. Call us now or fill out the form below to set up a convenient time to talk about your credit report.
Free FCRA Consultation
Hilton Parker LLC Law Office
7544 Slate Ridge Blvd
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068