Injury to Credit Scores

Birmingham Injury to Credit Score Lawyer

If your credit has been injured due to creditor harassment, contact the experienced Birmingham injury to credit score attorneys at GREENWAY BANKRUPTCY LAW, LLC today by calling (205) 324-4000. When your credit score is harmed because of creditor harassment, you may suffer significant financial harm. You may be denied lines of credit or may have to pay much higher interest rates. If your credit score has been injured because of creditor harassment or negligence, contact the highly-qualified Birmingham attorneys at GREENWAY BANKRUPTCY LAW, LLC right away. Give us a call at (205) 324-4000 to schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you.

Injury to Credit Scores

Damage to your credit score can hurt you and your family in a variety of ways. It can mean that:

  • You are denied a line of credit or a loan
  • You must pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage
  • You must pay a higher interest rate on credit cards or other loans
  • You are denied a job
  • You cannot rent an apartment or home

Creditors can sometimes play a role in hurting a consumer’s credit. However, creditors are subject to certain federal laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that prohibit them from engaging in activities that result in hurting a consumer’s credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, is a federal law enacted to protect the privacy and ensure the accuracy of consumer information held and disseminated by creditors and credit reporting agencies. The law is intended to protect consumers from the willful or negligent inclusion of false information in a consumer’s credit report.

Reporting False Information

If a creditor provides false information to consumer reporting agencies, it not only injures the consumer’s credit but may also be a violation of the FCRA. Ways that creditors have been known to include false information include the following:

  • Misstating a balance due
  • Reporting that a debt was charged off or that the creditor gave up on trying to get paid, when in fact the consumer has settled or paid off the debt
  • Reporting payments as late when the consumer paid them on time
  • Naming the consumer as a debtor on an account when they were only an authorized user of the account
  • Reporting information on an account where identity theft had been reported, or failing to have a procedure for consumers to report credit theft

If a creditor provides false information about a consumer through a willful act or because they were negligent (e.g., mismanaging files, failing to differentiate between similar names, or mixing the personal and credit information of consumers) they may have violated the law and caused injury to the consumer’s credit.

Reporting Out-of-Date Information

Creditors and consumer reporting agencies also have a duty to keep a consumer’s information current. When a consumer’s information changes and a creditor or consumer reporting agency fails to account for these changes, they may have violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Some common instances of how a creditor violates the FCRA, include the following:

  • Failing to report that a debt was discharged in bankruptcy
  • Reporting an account as being open and active when it was voluntarily closed by the consumer
  • Reporting that old debts are new
  • Reporting information that is out of date

Reporting information that is out of date can hurt a consumer’s credit score and is a violation of the FCRA.

Other FCRA Violations by Creditors

There are other actions or failures to act that a creditor can take that hurt a consumer’s credit score:

  • Debt Dispute Violations: When a consumer and creditor have a dispute about a debt, the creditor must take certain actions to comply with the law. These actions include:
    • Notifying consumer reporting agencies that the consumer and creditor are engaged in a debt dispute
    • Submitting correct information to consumer reporting agencies when the dispute is settled
    • Conducting an internal investigation of the dispute within 30 days of notice of the dispute
    • Providing the consumer with a reasonable means to dispute charges or report identify theft
    • Informing the consumer of the findings within five days of completing the investigation 
  • Privacy Violations: Creditors can only give consumer information to certain entities. If they give out consumer information to an entity that has no rights to receive such information, they may have violated the consumer’s privacy rights.
  • Withholding Notices: Consumers are entitled to a notice when creditor’s take certain activities, including:
    • When a creditor supplies a credit reporting agency with negative information about a consumer
    • When a consumer credit score was used as part of a credit decision
    • When a creditor fails to give a consumer notice of their right to dispute inaccurate information
    • When a creditor fails to provide the source of negative information they received about a consumer
    • When a creditor fails to tell a consumer about their right to free credit report 
  • Requesting a Credit Report on Invalid Grounds: A creditor may only pull a consumer credit report for certain reasons. If they pull a report for impermissible grounds, such as to see a consumer’s current financial activity after previously discharging their debt to them in bankruptcy, they may have violated the consumer’s rights.

There are a number of ways in which a creditor may behave that can cause injury to a consumer’s credit score. Many of those same actions that injure credit may also be a violation of the law. Knowing if your rights have been violated by a creditor can be complicated. That’s why the experienced Birmingham consumer protection and injury to credit score attorneys at GREENWAY BANKRUPTCY LAW, LLC are here to help.

Contact Us

Injury to your credit score can have serious negative consequences for you and your family. Your lowered credit score may have occurred for reasons outside of your control or due to the wrongful or negligent actions of a creditor. If your credit score has been injured due to a creditor’s harassment, wrongdoing, or negligence, contact the Birmingham consumer protection attorneys of GREENWAY BANKRUPTCY LAW, LLC today by calling (205) 324-4000.