There are quite a few credit protection laws in
place to shield consumers from abuses of
credit reporting agencies, debt collectors and
creditors. One of the biggest mistakes
consumers make when seeking credit repair is
to overlook the legal credit repair options they
have based upon established consumer
protection laws. Here are 7 credit protection
laws to help guide your credit improvement
decision-making.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 (FCRA)
The fair credit reporting act is a federal law,
originally passed in 1970, that governs how
consumer information (and consumer credit
information) is collected, distributed and used.
It is this law that specifies the responsibilities
consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) have
toward consumers, as well as the
responsibilities “data furnishers” (creditors)
have towards the people whose information
they share. The FCRA also set the time frames
for which reporting agencies can hold
consumer information.

Fair And Accurate Credit Transactions Act of
2003 (FACTA)
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
of 2003 introduced some big changes to the
Fair Credit Reporting Act. Under the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA), you are entitled to receive
one free annual credit report as a credit
consumer. Among the many consumer
protections enacted in FACTA is the
requirement that merchants truncate credit
card, debit card, and social security numbers so
that receipts would not include more than the
last five digits of the card number.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1977
(FDCPA)
Questionable practices by debt collectors can
range from making harassing phone calls to
overstepping their bounds in how they collect
information about you (like your contact phone
numbers) to using deceptive debt collection
letters and forms. The Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act was enacted to protect you from
false, deceptive, and misleading collection
tactics as well as harassment and abuse.
Section 807 of the FDCPA actually outlines 17
false or misleading tactics that are prohibited
by law.

The Credit Card Act of 2009
This law issued in the most dramatic changes
to consumer credit cards in decades and
created extensive new protections that gave
credit card customers more options for dealing
with the banks. Ironically, they may also result
in raising the threshold of difficulty for many
lower-income families and people with bad
credit to obtain credit. It significantly limits
lenders’ flexibility in issuing interest rate hikes,
gave consumers the right to opt-out (with up to
a 5 year repayment period on balances), and
limited the practice of “universal default”; the
practice of raising interest rates on customers
based on their dealings with other unrelated
credit issuers.

The Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 (FCBA)
This law governs the conduct of credit issuers
when inaccuracies are reported on billing
documents. Credit card companies are required
to promptly credit payments and correct
mistakes without adversely affecting your credit
score. It also empowers consumers to withhold
payments for damaged goods and to dispute
billing errors.

The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of
1974 (RESPA)
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act was
enacted in 1974 to help consumers better
clarify settlement costs and to eliminate hidden
referrals and kickbacks that could skew the
settlement process in ways that harm
consumers.

One of our favorite strategies for helping people
improve credit scores is to identify scenarios
when mortgages have been re-sold to other
lenders and to look for RESPA violations (or
RESPA-required documentation trails) that give
us a leg to stand on in demanding the removal
of negative mortgage entries from client credit
reports.

The Credit Repair Organizations Act of 1986
(CROA)
This governs the conduct of credit repair
organizations in their dealings with you. It was
designed to put the clamps on credit repair
scams and requires credit repair organizations
to provide you with a disclosure statement
titled, “Consumer Credit File Rights Under State
and Federal Law”, and prohibits credit repair
organizations from making “a variety of false
and misleading statements”.

It also requires credit repair organizations to
provide their customers with a contract
providing detailed description of services and
the length contract time. This law has made it
easier for legal credit repair companies to
deliver services to consumers in greater and
greater numbers.

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