What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?
Below is a summary of the FCRA. The full Act can be obtained directly from the Federal Trade Commission’s web site.
Fair Credit Reporting Act (Summary)
Public Law 91-508
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows a consumer to challenge the information on his credit report on the basis of “completeness and accuracy.” If, after a reinvestigation by the credit bureau, the disputed information “is found to be inaccurate or can no longer be verified, the [credit bureau] shall promptly delete such information.”
The credit bureaus can ignore the consumer dispute if they have reason to believe that the dispute is “frivolous or irrelevant.” The FTC commentary on the FCRA cites, as an example of a frivolous dispute, a dispute wherein the consumer challenges all negative items on his credit report without providing any allegations regarding specific items in the credit file. However, “A [credit bureau] must assume a consumer’s dispute is bona fide, unless there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.”
In theory and law, the process is deceptively simple, thus leading many people to believe that they can easily handle this themselves “for the price of a few postage stamps.” From our experience, most people quickly discover that the credit bureaus often make the process troublesome and time consuming. In these cases, many seek the assistance of a credit repair company.