Fair Credit Reporting Act: Furnisher’s and Credit Bureau’s Duty to Investigate

Fair Credit Reporting Act: Furnisher's and Credit Bureau's Duty to Investigate

Credit is crucial in today’s world. To obtain credit, one must have an accurate credit report since credit reports are the main source of information used when lenders are considering offering credit to a consumer.

Because of this, Congress enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) which was intended to ensure that credit reports are accurate. Under the FCRA, victims of inaccurate credit reporting can sue and collect money damages. Generally, there are two potential targets of any FCRA litigation: a credit reporting bureau (“CRA”) and/or a furnisher of credit information. So, for example, if you had a credit card for a department store, the department store would be the furnisher of information to a CRA — like TransUnion. An example of information furnished might include whether payments on the credit card were made on time.

The FCRA imposes several obligations on both furnishers and CRAs including the obligation to investigate the accuracy of the information contained on a consumer’s credit report. Importantly, this duty to report accurate information is triggered by a consumer complaint that his or her credit report contains false, inaccurate or misleading information. When a consumer makes a complaint, the CRA has a duty to investigate and to notify the furnisher that the credit information is disputed. After being notified by the CRA, the furnisher then has a duty to undertake a reasonable investigation. Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation can lead to legal liability, money damages, and statutory penalties.

If you think you have been the victim of FCRA false information on your credit report, contact us here at Guardian Litigation Group. We are FCRA False Information Attorneys and Credit Reporting Abuse Lawyers dedicated to consumer’s rights and obtaining money damages for consumers who have been victimized by false reporting by furnishers and CRAs. Call us at (949) 444-5474. We are a FCRA Abuse Law Firm located in Irvine, California.

There are many reported cases and examples where CRAs and furnishers have been punished by the courts for failing to conduct a reasonable investigation into a consumer’s dispute with regard to the accuracy of information on a credit report. It has been repeatedly held that a CRA and/or a furnisher VIOLATES their duty to investigate if they only verify identification information and the existence of a loan or credit. In other words, a CRA and/or a furnisher must conduct a MEANINGFUL investigation. Generally, this means that the CRA and/or furnisher must specifically target the investigation toward the dispute and look at the underlying documentation including the loan, payment and other related documents. Furthermore, both CRAs and furnishers must conduct and complete their investigations within certain short deadlines. In general, any investigation must be completed in about 45 days after a consumer has disputed the accuracy of credit report information.

If it is determined by the CRA or the furnisher that the disputed information is, in fact, inaccurate or misleading, then the furnisher has a duty to promptly notify the CRA to delete or modify the credit information reported. The CRA then has a duty to delete or modify the information on the consumer’s credit report.

Contact Our Experienced California FCRA Attorneys

For more information, contact the FCRA lawyers at Guardian Litigation Group. We have the tools and legal experience necessary to protect you, vindicate your rights and, potentially, to recover money damages on your behalf. We are your California Fair Credit Reporting Law Firm. Our Mission is to provide unparalleled legal services and support to consumers and financially distressed individuals. We can be reached via our contact page or by phone at (949) 444-5474. We are located in Irvine, California.