Key FCRA Statutory Text

(For convenience only–be sure to check the U.S.C. for accuracy and any changes).

 

  • 603. Definitions; rules of construction [15 U.S.C. § 1681a]

 

(d) Consumer Report

(1) In general. The term “consumer report” means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for (A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; (B) employment purposes; or (C) any other purpose authorized under section 604 [§ 1681b].

 

(f) The term “consumer reporting agency” means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

 

  • 611. Procedure in case of disputed accuracy [15 U.S.C. § 1681i]

 

(a) Reinvestigations of Disputed Information

 

(1) Re-investigation Required

 

(A) In general. Subject to subsection (f), if the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in a consumer’s file at a consumer reporting agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency directly, or indirectly through a re-seller, of such dispute, the agency shall, free of charge, conduct a reasonable re-investigation to determine whether the disputed information is inaccurate and record the current status of the disputed information, or delete the item from the file in accordance with paragraph (5), before the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date on which the agency receives the notice of the dispute from the consumer or re-seller.

 

(2) Prompt Notice of Dispute to Furnisher of Information

 

(A) In general. Before the expiration of the 5-business-day period beginning on the date on which a consumer reporting agency receives notice of a dispute from any consumer or a re-seller in accordance with paragraph (1), the agency shall provide notification of the dispute to any person who provided any item of information in dispute, at the address and in the manner established with the person. The notice shall include all relevant information regarding the dispute that the agency has received from the consumer or re-seller.

 

(B) Provision of other information. The consumer reporting agency shall promptly provide to the person who provided the information in dispute all relevant information regarding the dispute that is received by the agency from the consumer or the re-seller after the period referred to in subparagraph (A) and before the end of the period referred to in paragraph (1)(A).

 

(5) Treatment of Inaccurate or Unverifiable Information

 

(A) In general. If, after any re-investigation under paragraph (1) of any information disputed by a consumer, an item of the information is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall–

 

(i) promptly delete that item of information from the file of the consumer, or modify that item of information, as appropriate, based on the results of the re-investigation; and

 

(ii) promptly notify the furnisher of that information that the information has been modified or deleted from the file of the consumer.

 

 

  • 616. Civil liability for willful noncompliance [15 U.S.C. § 1681n]

 

(a) In general. Any person who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of (1) (A) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000; or (B) in the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or $1,000, whichever is greater; (2) such amount of punitive damages as the court may allow; and (3) in the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.

 

(b) Civil liability for knowing noncompliance. Any person who obtains a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose shall be liable to the consumer reporting agency for actual damages sustained by the consumer reporting agency or $1,000, whichever is greater.

 

(c) Attorney’s fees. Upon a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this section was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion, or other paper.

 

(d) Clarification of willful noncompliance. For the purposes of this section, any person who printed an expiration date on any receipt provided to a consumer cardholder at a point of sale or transaction between December 4, 2004, and the date of the enactment of this subsection but otherwise complied with the requirements of section 605(g) for such receipt shall not be in willful noncompliance with section 605(g) by reason of printing such expiration date on the receipt.

 

  • 617. Civil liability for negligent noncompliance [15 U.S.C. § 1681o]

 

(a) In general. Any person who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of (1) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure; and (2) in the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.

 

(b) Attorney’s fees. On a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this section was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion, or other paper.

 

  • 618. Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions [15 U.S.C. § 1681p]

 

An action to enforce any liability created under this title may be brought in any appropriate United States district court, without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction, not later than the earlier of (1) 2 years after the date of discovery by the plaintiff of the violation that is the basis for such liability; or (2) 5 years after the date on which the violation that is the basis for such liability occurs.

 

  • 623. Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies [15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2]

 

(b) Duties of Furnishers of Information upon Notice of Dispute

 

(1) In general. After receiving notice pursuant to section 611(a)(2) [§ 1681i] of a dispute with regard to the completeness or accuracy of any information provided by a person to a consumer reporting agency, the person shall

(A) conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information;

(B) review all relevant information provided by the consumer reporting agency pursuant to section 611(a)(2) [§ 1681i];

(C) report the results of the investigation to the consumer reporting agency;

(D) if the investigation finds that the information is incomplete or inaccurate, report those results to all other consumer reporting agencies to which the person furnished the information and that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis; and

(E) if an item of information disputed by a consumer is found to be inaccurate or incomplete or cannot be verified after any re-investigation under paragraph (1), for purposes of reporting to a consumer reporting agency only, as appropriate, based on the results of the re-investigation promptly– (i) modify that item of information; (ii) delete that item of information; or (iii) permanently block the reporting of that item of information.