Can You Sue for Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations in California?

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You have some remedies available if someone violates your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. These remedies might include actual damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs. These remedies will depend on whether someone violated your rights intentionally or negligently. For more information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, please read on, then contact an experienced Los Angeles, California fraudulent credit reporting lawyer today.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act governs the behavior of consumer reporting agencies – also known as credit bureaus – and the businesses or individuals that report information to them when they compile your credit report. In making decisions to extend credit to you, give you a job or rent a home or apartment to you, creditors, landlords and employers may rely on information in your credit report.

What does the Fair Credit Reporting Act do in California?

Specifically, the Fair Credit Reporting Act provides rules about:

  • Who can access your report
  • What information the credit bureaus or other entities can report
  • How long credit bureaus or other entities may report the information in the credit report
  • What credit reporting agencies and information suppliers must do if you dispute information

You might suffer harm if a credit reporting agency or another entity violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act. When this happens, you can file a lawsuit and receive financial compensation. The damages you receive will vary based on the nature of the violation, specifically whether it was intentional or the result of negligence.

What damages can you receive for an intentional FCRA violation in California?

If you can prove that the credit reporting agency or other agency knew or reasonably should have known it was violating your rights under the FCRA, you may receive the following forms of compensation:

  • Basic damages (pick one):
    • Actual damages, no limit, or
    • Statutory damages between $100 and $1,000
  • Basic damages, if the violator lied to obtain your credit report or used it for an improper purpose:
    • Actual, provable damages, or
    • $1,000 flat
  • Punitive damages
  • Attorney fees and costs

What damages might you receive for a negligent violation of the FCRA?

If you can prove the credit reporting agency or other entity failed to comply with its FCRA obligations due to negligence, you may collect the following damages:

  • Actual damages, no set limit or minimum, and
  • Attorney fees and costs

Are there any penalties for a frivolous FCRA lawsuit?

If you file any lawsuit or subsequent court papers in “bad faith or for purposes of harassment,” you may face penalties. If you file bad faith papers and lose, you might have to pay the other side’s attorney fees.

You only have a limited time to file an FCRA lawsuit, so speak with a California consumer lawyer as soon as possible.

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