What Information is Prohibited by the FCRA?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that governs the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information. The FCRA imposes restrictions on the type of information that can be included in a credit report to protect consumers from inaccurate or unfair reporting.

Understanding what information is prohibited by the FCRA is crucial for seeking accurate and fair representations of your credit history. If you suspect your rights have been violated under the FCRA, contact a consumer protection attorney immediately for a no-cost consultation.

Prohibited Information on Credit Reports

Outdated Information

The FCRA places a time limit on the reporting of certain negative information. Generally, most adverse information, such as late payments, collection accounts, and Chapter 7 bankruptcies, can only be reported for seven years. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are typically reported for up to ten years. After the specified period, bankruptcies should be removed from the credit report.

Most negative information, such as late payments and collections, should not be reported after seven years from the date of the delinquency that led to the negative mark. Tax liens and civil judgments are subject to the seven-year reporting limit as well. The FCRA restricts the inclusion of such information on credit reports after this period.

The FCRA prohibits the practice of “re-aging” accounts to extend the period for reporting negative information. Creditors should not alter the original delinquency date to keep negative information on the report for an extended period.

Negative Information Based on Discrimination

The FCRA prohibits the inclusion of negative information on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. Any discriminatory reporting practices violate the law.

Unverifiable Information

Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) are required to ensure the accuracy of the information they include in credit reports. If information is unverifiable, outdated, or inaccurate, it should not be reported. Consumers have the right to dispute such information.

Access to Credit Reports and Unauthorized Inquiries

Access to an individual’s credit report is restricted to authorized entities, such as creditors, lenders, and employers with the consumer’s consent. Unauthorized access to credit reports is a violation of the FCRA.

Excessive hard inquiries, which occur when a consumer applies for credit, may negatively impact credit scores. However, certain inquiries, such as those for pre-approved credit offers or initiated by the consumer, do not affect credit scores and are generally permissible.

Legal Remedies for Violations

You have rights under the FCRA, and violations can lead to legal action. You have the right to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report and can request the removal of outdated or unauthorized data. If a credit reporting agency or a furnisher of information violates the FCRA, you may also be entitled to damages, including actual damages, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees.

A Florida Consumer Rights Attorney Ready to Help

The FCRA establishes clear guidelines on the type of information that can and cannot be included in your credit report. Understanding these provisions empowers you to monitor your credit information accurately and take action against violations, ensuring fair and transparent reporting practices.

If you suspect a violation or error on your report, it costs nothing to dispute the information and seek relief. Consult consumer protection lawyer Jibrael Hindi about your options. Contact our office for a free case evaluation.

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