Call Us312-704-0771

Chicago debt collection attorneys

How Can Creditors Avoid Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Posted on in

Cook County Creditors' Rights Lawyers

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that establishes rules and regulations for the collection, maintenance, and use of consumer credit information. This law was designed to protect the privacy of consumers and their credit information. It requires creditors to treat consumer credit information with care, accuracy, and responsibility. If a creditor fails to abide by these laws when collecting debts or taking other actions, they may face serious legal consequences.

Understanding Creditor Requirements Under the FCRA

The FCRA governs how creditors must handle consumer credit reports, as well as any other information related to a consumer’s creditworthiness. For example, it requires that any creditor who obtains a consumer’s credit report must have a “permissible purpose”—which means they must be able to show that there is a legitimate business reason for obtaining the report. It also restricts creditors from reporting inaccurate or outdated information about consumers and requires them to provide consumers with access to their own files if requested.

In addition, the FCRA states that creditors must make sure that any third-party companies they use for services such as debt collection are compliant with all applicable laws. This means that creditors should thoroughly research any companies they plan on using before they enter into an agreement with them, making sure that those companies will follow the correct procedures and avoid violations of consumers' rights. Likewise, creditors should also ensure that their employees are trained properly on all aspects of the FCRA so they do not inadvertently violate any of its provisions.

When dealing with consumer credit reports, it is important for creditors to remember that there are certain restrictions on how long these reports can be retained by the company in question. Generally speaking, most credit reports can only be kept for up to two years unless special circumstances exist that warrant longer retention periods, such as an ongoing investigation or lawsuit related to the individual's account or loan application process. As such, it is important for creditors to keep track of when consumers' credit reports expire so that these records are deleted in a timely manner.

To avoid violations, creditors can do the following:

  • Maintain accurate records - It is important to make sure all records are accurate and up-to-date. This includes a company's internal records and those obtained from third-party sources like credit bureaus or other lenders. All records should be verified on a regular basis to ensure accuracy.

  • Use consumer reports responsibly - Creditors should also be mindful when using consumer reports obtained from third parties. Under the FCRA, they are required to provide consumers with written notice before pulling their reports, as well as informing them if an adverse action has been taken based on information contained in these reports. Additionally, creditors must have a permissible purpose for obtaining such reports, such as evaluating an application for credit. 

  • Provide notice to consumers - Creditors must also provide certain disclosures under the FCRA in order to avoid potential violations. This includes providing consumers with written notice before requesting their credit report, notifying them if an adverse action has been taken based on information in their report, and giving them access to any records used when making credit decisions. 

Contact Our Cook County Creditors' Rights Lawyers

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is an important piece of legislation designed to protect the rights of consumers. To avoid violating this law, it is important for creditors to ensure that they understand its provisions and adhere strictly to its guidelines. At Dimand Walinski Law Offices, P.C., we can provide guidance to creditors who are looking to collect debts or address other issues related to consumers, and we can ensure that they follow the terms of the FCRA. To learn more about our services, contact our Chicago creditors' rights attorneys at 312-704-0771.


Illinois Creditors Bar Association Chicago Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association
Back to Top