Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 By attorney Ronald C. Sykstus

Everything that relates to a credit report for a consumer in our country is governed by a
federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It is also referred to as the FCRA. This federal
law is found at 15 USC § 1681. Pursuant to this law, the FCRA regulates the permissible
information, access, accuracy and compliance requirements of consumer credit reports. A consumer report is defined under this law as any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; employment purposes. 15 USC § 1681a(d) (1).

The FCRA further defines the exact definition of a consumer reporting agency. Any
person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports. 15 USC § 1681a(f).

The basic requirement under the FCRA provides that consumer reporting agencies must
follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information in a credit report. When Congress formulated this law, it noted that the FCRA was enacted in order to protect consumers against “the trend toward…the establishment of all sorts of computerized data banks [that placed a consumer] in great danger of having his life and character reduced to impersonal ‘blips’ and key punch holes in a stolid and unthinking machine which can literally ruin his reputation without cause.” 116 Cong. Rec. 36570.

The FCRA is a complicated law but it is an important one for consumers to know. My
future blog posts will deal with this law in more detail. If you have issues with your credit report that you are unable to get fixed and they are giving you problems, please feel free to contact one of our offices that is most convenient to you at www.bondandbotes.com