Information Regarding the FCRA Lawsuit Process

An FCRA lawsuit is time consuming and expensive, as it typically involves two separate actions: filing a lawsuit on behalf of the person who has been denied credit or employment based on an adverse credit decision; and going to court to pursue the suit. The process is complicated because Congress has passed several statutes governing FCRA lawsuits. In addition, there are a wide variety of complex business regulations regarding FCRA claims. There are even more aspects to consider than there were originally anticipated. To make matters worse, the FCRA is currently undergoing changes in the implementation process, and many claims that could have been resolved through the traditional methods of dispute resolution are now going to the far-off litigation stage.

FCRA Lawsuit

Many people assume that if they file a lawsuit, they will automatically win their case. Unfortunately, this is not true. If a plaintiff sues the credit reporting bureaus, the courts will need to determine whether the actions taken violated the FCRA. Unless the plaintiff can prove that the bureaus willfully and knowingly violated the law, their lawsuit will likely be denied. Even if the plaintiff can show that the violations occurred due to bad information from the bureaus, winning the lawsuit will require the plaintiff to prove the violations were a direct result of the company’s actions.

In order to prepare for a lawsuit, attorneys advise clients to be diligent in the discovery process.

They advise clients to request documents from the credit reporting agencies. The attorneys will also work with their clients to compile and organize all of the discovery so that it can be submitted to the courts. To make the process easier, the client may receive permission from the courts to allow them to retain a private investigator to conduct the investigation. Once the discovery is received, the attorney will review the evidence with the client to ensure that he has adequately provided enough evidence to win the lawsuit.

There are three classifications that fall under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, all of which will result in lawsuits if there are violations.

First, there is the open-claims category, which includes items such as unpaid student loans. Second, there are judgments granted by the courts that result in financial losses to individuals, such as student loans or tax debts. Lastly, there are claims that have been filed but have not resulted in monetary damages, which include fraud or other acts in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

In most recent cases, attorneys have advised their clients to file a lawsuit after two years pass since the alleged violations.

This allows the statute of limitations to begin to run, which in turn eliminates the time limit on filing the suit. Additionally, it prevents the statute of limitations from applying retroactively to any past-due accounts or open credit card accounts. Some previous victims have reported having their suits dismissed because the credit bureaus deny their requests for settlements and do not respond to requests for information. In the majority of cases, the credit bureaus have 30 days to respond to requests for information or an investigation, which makes it difficult to get any type of resolution.

In addition to seeking monetary compensation for their losses, attorneys file class action lawsuits to force the offending company to correct their actions or face steep fines and penalties.

In many recent instances, the settlement sought has been quite substantial. Sometimes it is not unusual for an attorney to be able to recoup most of the money they have sought, but in some instances, additional punitive damages have been sought. In one instance, a judge ordered a Suntrust Bank loan officer to pay back a $500,000 settlement to a client who was injured while driving a car at an interstate speedway. The bank did not appeal the court’s decision. In another case, the bank was ordered to pay an award of nearly one million dollars to a claimant who sustained serious injuries in a car crash.

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