Home > Uncategorized > Everything’s a FCRA violation? Not really.

Everything’s a FCRA violation? Not really.

January 21, 2011

I just stumbled across an “eHow” entry on finding FCRA violations in one’s credit report.  It’s at:

http://www.ehow.com/how_5355278_fcra-violations-credit-report.html

The eHow post claims that if you notice ANY error, no matter how small or inconsequential, on your credit report, it’s an FCRA violation and may entitle you to file a lawsuit.

On behalf of all the FCRA defense lawyers in the world, I should probably tell the author “thank you.”  More lawsuits = more business for me.

But I won’t do that.  Instead, I would like to point out that an error on a credit report is NOT necessarily an FCRA violation.  Here’s why:

Credit reports are collections of data that come from all sorts of different sources.  The data is subject to error:  by way of example, if a clerk mistypes someone’s name, or address, or social security number while opening a credit card account, that could cause the account to appear on someone else’s credit report.

When Congress created the FCRA, it recognized that credit reports were not and could not be 100% accurate at all times – there are too many variables in play for that to happen.  So Congress did not make every error in a report an FCRA violation.  Instead, and I’m speaking generally here, an error only becomes a violation if somebody wasn’t being careful enough.  See, e.g., 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681e(b), which states that a credit reporting agency will NOT be liable if it uses “reasonable procedures” and will be liable if it doesn’t.

So if you’re a consumer reading this, please note that you only have proof if an FCRA violation if:  1) something in your credit report is inaccurate; and 2) somebody’s carelessness caused the inaccuracy.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

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