Even though creditors and debt collectors can hurt your credit with what seems minimal effort, there are laws put in place specifically to help protect you and your credit. Understanding the laws that protect you can make a huge difference on your path toward credit recovery. See below to get started on learning your rights toward credit protection and recovery!
THE EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) ensures that all consumers are given equal chance to obtain credit. While this doesn’t mean everyone who applies will get approved, just that the defined needs are the same across all of those that apply.
Some of the factors that determine your credit worthiness include:
- Credit history
This law protects you by forbidding banks and lenders from denying credit based on such things as race, national origin, religion, age (expect as a positive reflection) sex, job status rating, and marital status.
If you would like to read more on The Equal Opportunity Act in its entirety…
THE TRUTH IN LENDING ACT
The Truth in Lending Act requires that all credit card issuers disclose their method of finance charge, annual percentage rate (APR), loan terms and conditions. This act also regulates the advertising of credit terms, prohibits card issuers from sending non-requested cards and limits a cardholder’s responsibility for unauthorized use of a card to $50.
If you would like to read more on The Truth In Lending Act in its entirety…
THE FAIR CREDIT BILLING ACT
The Fair Credit Billing Act states that a consumer has 60 days after the receipt of a bill to dispute in letter form. They must send it to the address of the customer service department. This can usually be found on the back of the billing statement. They must include their name, account number, and why they believe the bill is in error. Copies of receipts of other purchase made within the period in question may be helpful in clarifying the billing error.
As with all correspondences, keep a copy for your records.
Within 30 days, the creditor must respond with some explanation of the charge. The consumer cannot be reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus until the dispute is settled. The creditor can however, continue to add finance charges on the amount. This act also allows consumers to withhold payment for faulty or defective goods or services that were bought with the credit card.
If you would like to read more on The Fair Credit Billing Act in its entirety:
THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, anyone obtaining or reading a consumer’s credit report for reasons other than the following reasons may face fines and/or imprisonment.
- Written permission for employment or other authorized reason
- Application for government license
- Application for business license
- Credit or Insurance transaction
- Court subpoena from federal grand jury
- Requirement for settling child support
The FCRA also requires disclosure to consumers of the name and address of any consumer reporting agency which supplied reports used to deny credit, insurance or employment. Within 60 days of denied credit, employment, insurance, or housing a consumer may request a free copy of their report. Reports are free to consumers on welfare or if there is a reason to suspect fraud. The act also limits the amount of time certain information can remain on a credit report.
If you would like to read more on The Fair Credit Reporting Act in its entirety…
THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 as a means to protect consumers and debtors from harassment or unfair treatment by debt collectors. In 1986, an amendment was made to
include only those attorneys who collect debts as a regular part of their practice. Debt collectors must abide by the FDCPA when attempting to collect delinquent debts. Keep in mind that the FDCPA holds no restrictions on the original retailer or lending institution when it comes to debt collection practices.
If you would like to read more on The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in its entirety…
Information in this post gathered from NACCC resources
We understand that credit recovery can seem like a mountain to overcome, however, you do not have to be alone during the process! If you would like any assistance with credit repair or more details regarding the information above, please contact us at Info@YourCRN.com