Many of our clients are getting their feet back under them now from the bankruptcies and foreclosures of the past few years. In our efforts to help them improve credit scores, we often will see an old creditor which reports a debt inaccurately after its been sold or transferred to another. Some of these furnishers/creditors argue that once they sell the debt, they have no further responsibility to ensure accurate reporting for that debt.
This is not true. The duty to report accurately does not end once ownership of an account transfers or is sold. Any furnisher must re-investigate upon receipt of a dispute from a Credit Reporting Agency (CRA). Failure to do so, opens both the furnisher and the CRA up to liability for an FCRA violation. If the furnisher does not respond to the dispute, then the CRA must delete the tradeline.
Damages under the FCRA can be substantial and can include claims against all three of the CRAs as well as the furnisher if they do not abide by this law. Statutory and actual damages are available as well as attorney’s fees and costs – which are usually handled on a contingency basis where fees and costs are only due in the event of a successful recovery. Further information can be found on our website.