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Consumer Law: Alabama Consumer Blog
Seminar Paper On The Fair Credit Reporting Act Related To Debt Collectors - Part Five - Conclusion
By M. Stan Herring
This is the final part of our seminar paper presented to collection and consumer lawyers at the University of Alabama Law School. Please contact us if you have any questions.
Using the credit reporting tool can be very useful for debt collectors. It can assist debt collectors in collecting the right debts from the right people. In our practice one of the reasons clients come to see us about suing debt collectors is because the debt collector?s account on the consumer?s credit report is preventing the consumer from obtaining a car or home loan. Credit reporting results in people paying attention.
But, if the credit reporting is misused, this tool can be very dangerous to debt collectors. Lawsuits can result under the strict liability statute of the FDCPA and also under FCRA which allows punitive damages. State law may also be brought against abusive debt collectors.
Debt collectors should be very deliberate about using credit reports and reporting debts to the CRAs. It should not be undertaken lightly ? instead serious thought and planning should occur before reporting occurs and before pulling credit reports occurs.
Consumers should be vigilant whenever a debt collector appears in any manner on their credit reports. If there is an inquiry ? a credit pull ? then this should be investigated. Was there a right to pull the credit report? If not, this may be an excellent lawsuit. If a debt collector is reporting a debt, is it accurate? If not, then it should be disputed with both the CRAs and the debt collector. If it is not resolved, then a lawsuit may be in order pulling from the FDCPA, FCRA, and/or state law.
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