Most credit repair law relates to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, sometimes referred to as the FCRA. The Fair Credit Reporting Act has been amended several times over the years. The most recent amendment is referred to as the FACT act under which a website was created to promote access to free annual credit reports for consumers. In order to legally repair credit scores or improve them, credit reports should be reviewed for inaccurate information.
Credit repair law or laws relating to consumer’s writes regarding their credit histories are about as difficult to read as most law. Some agencies attempt to put the law into laymen’s terms, in order to help consumers that are attempting to legally repair credit problems. The FCRA was designed to protect lenders as well as consumers. In order to protect lenders from excessive costs relating to attempts to collect past due or delinquent accounts, the current credit scoring system was put into place. This scoring system attempts to identify those consumers who will repay loans in a timely manner. Many feel that the entire system is flawed, but it is currently the only one that we have.
Under the FCRA, lenders are not allowed to base decisions about creditworthiness on a person’s race or sex. This is not generally relevant to credit repair law, but if you feel that you have been discriminated against, you should report the discrimination and possibly contact a lawyer.
The portion of the FCRA which relates directly to attempts to legally repair credit scores has to do with disputing inaccurate, unverifiable, misleading and outdated information included in one’s credit report. People who are familiar with credit repair law often write books or create software programs which can assist consumers in disputing negative items on their credit reports. Some professional who are familiar with credit repair law offer services, as well. Some of the credit repair services are operated by lawyers and paralegals, while others employ credit advisors. There are credit repair clinics which have been shut down and others whose operations have been severely limited by the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission investigates complaints about any business or company, not just those which specialize in credit repair law. If, while attempting to legally repair credit problems, a consumer feels that a company has made false claims or misrepresented its services or activities, that consumer can report this to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Employees of the FTC have published a complete copy of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This document is over 80 pages long and cannot fully be covered in this article, but for anyone who is concerned about how to legally repair credit problems or is just curious about credit repair law, it may be worth reading in its entirety.
Some people may think that credit report review is unnecessary or too time-consuming to be worthwhile. However, identity theft is becoming more and more common and no matter how careful an individual attempts to be, there are other people who are handling consumer’s private information. Just recently the social security numbers and other private information of a large number of military personnel were put at risk when an employee took the information home. The information was later lost and has not been recovered. There are companies which will help customers monitor changes in their credit reports, sometimes through e-mail notifications. As with any other type of business, the fees and services provided by these companies vary. Some companies which specialize in credit repair law and help consumers who are attempting to legally repair credit problems include identity theft insurance and credit monitoring services as well. The wise consumer will want to make sure that all fees are disclosed up front and look for a company that belongs to the Better Business Bureau.