Can you file lawsuits if someone has misused your credit report?

Just imagine a situation when you get your credit report and find that a charged-off account is there on your credit report. Under normal conditions, it shouldn’t give you a heart attack or raise your temper. But what if you’ve already settled the debt but it is still lurking in your credit report as charged-off? What if creditors or credit bureaus don’t agree to cooperate with you and remove the erroneous information? Should you keep quiet and let others to misuse your credit report?

Can you file lawsuits if anyone sabotage your credit report?

Yes, you can sue creditors, credit bureaus and debt collection agencies for misusing your credit information. This means if any creditor or credit reporting agency violates FCRA, then consumers can file lawsuits against them and retrieve up to $1000 for each violation. Besides, consumers can recover court costs and attorney fees.

Where can you file a lawsuit?

Well, you can file a lawsuit for FCRA violations at:

  1. State’s court
  2. Federal court

Is there any time limit for filing lawsuits?

If you’ve really been a victim of FCRA violation, then you’ll have to file a lawsuit within:

  • 5 Years from the date when your credit report was misused
  • 2 Years from the date when you came to know about the violation

Who can misuse your credit report?

  1. Credit information furnisher
  2. Credit information user

Information furnisher vs information user - Is there any similarity?

Information furnisher Information User
He is the one who provides information to credit bureaus He is the one who gets your credit information and then abuses you

>You can file a lawsuit against both of them when they violate the FCRA.

Credit information furnisher

  • Credit bureaus
  • Debt collectors
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Banks
  • Your boss
  • Credit card companies
  • Creditors

Credit information user

  1. Insurance company
  2. Employers
  3. Credit card companies

What can happen if someone misuses your credit information?

Well, you can either suffer a financial loss or you can get emotionally distressed.

Financial loss

  • Job loss
  • Insurance premium hike
  • Attorney fees
  • Loss of funds for running a business
  • Insurance coverage denial
  • Higher credit card or mortgage interest

Emotional stress

  1. Anxiety
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Breathlessness
  4. Heart attack
  5. Miscarriage
  6. Lethargy
  7. Fear
  8. Increase in blood pressure
  9. Irritation
  10. Lack of appetite
  11. Weeping
  12. Bad dreams
  13. Emotional paralysis

When can you file a lawsuit against creditors?

You can sue creditors or debt collectors when they have broken the following rules:

  1. They don’t rectify the wrong information in your credit report.
  2. They don’t notify credit bureaus wherein they gave wrong information.
  3. They don’t change the wrong information within 30 days of disputing it.
  4. They don’t explain why the information is accurate within 30 days of disputing it.
  5. They don’t send the total information to credit bureaus.
  6. They don’t give you any information about the result after the investigation is finished.
  7. They don’t help you to complete the dispute procedure. This includes not providing you with the address wherein you can submit an address.
  8. They don’t take any step to conduct an private investigation of your dispute within a month.

When can you sue credit bureaus?

You can sue credit bureaus under the following circumstances:

  • The credit bureau doesn’t take away the wrong information from your credit report.
  • They don’t take any initiative to make you understand your credit report.
  • They send a copy of your credit report to prospective employers or landlords without taking your permission.
  • They refuse to remove negative information that have crossed the 7 year clock. This excludes bankruptcy though.
  • They give a copy of your credit report to anyone without any valid business reason.

Can you sue credit information users?

You can file a lawsuit against them when they:

  • Take a step that has an adverse effect on you on the basis of credit reports
  • They don’t inform consumers about the company who leaked out credit information

Can you get penalized for filing lawsuits?

Yes this can happen especially when you file lawsuits in bad faith or your main aim is to harass creditors. If you lose the case, then you’d have to pay the plaintiff's attorney fees. So, beware! Don’t misuse your power.

Has anyone misused your credit information? What step did you take to combat that? Did you get any positive result? Do share your experience with us.

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