Creditors, Collection Companies and the Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA) violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in many ways. A few common violations are furnishing and reporting inaccurate information, mixing up files, failing to follow debt dispute procedures or obtaining a credit report for impermissible purposes.
Furnishing and Reporting Old or Inaccurate Information
CRAs and the creditors who supply information to them must provide and keep your credit information current. When your credit circumstances have changed and the information in your credit report is not updated to reflect these changes, this may be a violation of the FCRA. Creditors must not furnish information to a CRA that it knows or should know is inaccurate.
-Failing to report that a debt was discharged in bankruptcy;
-Reporting old debts as new or re-aged;
-Supplying credit information on an account where identity theft was previously reported
-Reporting late payments when you paid timely;
-Reporting information that is more than seven years old (bankruptcy) or ten years old;
-Reporting a debt as charged off when you settled it or paid it in full;
-Listing you as a debtor on an account when you were only the authorized user;
-Misstating the balance due; or
-Reporting an account as active when it was voluntarily closed by a consumer.
CRAs can also run fail to report accurate credit information about you if they mix your file with that of another person.
-Morphing or duplicating negative credit information with a stranger who shares a similar social security number
-Failing to distinguish the Jr. and Sr. in similar surnames
-Mixing the information of persons with the same last name and similar first names, and
-Combining or mixing credit files of persons with similar names living in the same city or zip code.
Failing to Follow Debt Dispute Procedures
Once you submit a written dispute about an inaccurate item on your report, credit bureaus and your creditors must investigate your dispute within a specified period of time. Their duties include conducting a reasonable investigation of your dispute, correcting any inaccurate information, or even removing the disputed debt from your credit report. Common violations by a CRA include failing to:
-Notify a creditor that you dispute the debt that it has reported;
-Conduct a reasonable investigation of your dispute; or
-Correct or delete any inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable information within 30 days of the receiving notice of your dispute.
Debt Dispute Violations by Creditors and Other Information Suppliers
Some common violations by a creditor or other information furnisher include failing to:
-Notify every CRA involved that you dispute the debt;
-Submit corrected information to the CRA subsequent to investigating your dispute;
-Refrain from continuing to submit information that it knows is incorrect;
-Conduct an internal investigation of your dispute within 30 days (or 45 days of you supply additional information during the investigation);
-Provide you with a reasonable procedure (including an address) to submit a written dispute or report of identity theft; or
-Inform you of the results of its investigation within 5 business days after it completes the investigation.
Obtaining a Credit Report for an Impermissible Purpose
Any person or entity that might be allowed to pull your credit report, must still have a permissible purpose to do so. If someone pulls your credit report for an impermissible purpose, then it may be a violation of the FCRA. Some examples of impermissible purposes include:
-Someone pulls your credit report to determine if you are collectible before filing a lawsuit against you on an involuntary debt or other non-credit matter (for example, in determining whether to file a personal injury lawsuit);
-Your employer pulls your credit report without your permission; or
– A creditor on a debt you discharged in bankruptcy pulls your credit report to check out your current financial activity.