The FCRA is a law that was passed by the federal government in 1970. It was designed to make sure that the credit reporting agencies were treating people fairly—and to make sure consumers could do something about it if they didn’t.

The key to filing a suit is to dispute the false information with any credit agency that’s reporting it. You’re entitled to a free credit report every year, and you’re entitled to file reports. But sometimes either the credit reporting agencies or the people reporting the false information don’t actually investigate, and that’s when the FCRA comes into play to make sure they do what they should have in the first place.

Lots of situations can result in a claim under the law.

1) Identity Theft.
For example, in a lawsuit in Atlanta, Georgia, a victim of identity theft filed suit under the FCRA against Equifax. Jordan v. Equifax Info. Servs., 410 F. Supp. 2d 1349 (N.D. Ga. 2006). Someone had taken out $17,600 in student loans in his name, and when debt collectors started calling him up, he spent more than a year trying to get the information off his credit report. He filed a police report, sent sworn affidavits to the debt collectors and Equifax, and went around and around and around. Finally he tried applying for a home loan and the mortgage company “informed him that he would have to provide proof that either the loans were not his or that they had been paid off in order for the Homebanc loan to close.”
The court ruled that the plaintiff in that case was entitled to seek damages for emotional distress, “including embarrassment, frustration, anger, anxiety, and humiliation as a result of Defendants' violations of the FCRA.”

2) Similar Names
In another case in Encinitas, California, the plaintiff found out he had a bankruptcy on his credit reports. Brooks v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 20-cv-01348-BAS-LL, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75643 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 19, 2021). His bank even suspended a line of credit he’d had because of it. But the bankruptcy was from someone in Alabama—a state he’d never even lived in. His name was William N. Brooks, III—and the bankruptcy was from someone named William E. Brooks. He was able to sue under both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and a similar California state law, the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.

3) Errors or Mistakes
In a case in Rockwall, Texas, the plaintiff sued when he suddenly got an alert about his credit saying that his Wells Fargo account was 120 days past due. That was impossible because he had a zero balance on the account. He disputed it with TransUnion—and then Wells Fargo went ahead and “verified the past-due report as accurate, causing TransUnion to continue reporting the inaccurate information…” It wasn’t clear how this had happened, but probably it was a mistake—only Wells Fargo allegedly didn’t investigate it when it should have. The court let the FCRA claim go forward.

If you have errors on your credit report, we may be able to help.

All we do at Kneupper & Covey is represent consumers. We’ve helped people with all kinds of problems, and we don’t charge anything to review your case. For the majority of our cases, we work on contingency, which means we only get paid if we win. Call us at 657-845-3100
, or e-mail us at We’ll get in touch ASAP and let you know if you have a valid claim.