The Fair Credit Reporting Act passed by U.S. Congress in 1970 gives consumers specific rights in dealing with consumer reporting agencies. Consumer reporting agencies and background check companies, including Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, Innovis, HireRight and LEXIS keep records on how you pay your bills, whether you’ve been sued or arrested, and whether you have filed for bankruptcy. These records are easily accessed by creditors, potential employers, and banks.

The consumer rights lawyers of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, recommend that all consumers learn how to manage their own credit reports. Access our Consumer Guide to Credit Reporting through this link. If you believe your rights have been violated contact an experienced consumer rights lawyer to schedule a consultation

If you have applied for a line of credit and been denied or if information on your credit report is inaccurate, you have the right to request that the appropriate consumer reporting agency corrects the inaccuracies. If an investigation does not resolve your dispute with the consumer reporting agency, you have the right to submit a written statement to be included in your file.

Consumer reporting agencies may generally report unfavorable information about you for up to seven years, with some exceptions. Credit reports are to be made available only to those with specified permissible purposes if parties have reasonable grounds to believe that they may engage in a transaction with you to which your creditworthiness is relevant. Employers must have your written permission to access your consumer report.

We receive many complaints about identity theft and credit reports merged with that of someone else with a similar name.

These and other rules concerning credit reports are intended to protect consumer’s legal rights. If you have reason to believe that a consumer reporting agency has violated your rights under the law, it is recommended that you contact a respected consumer rights lawyer. In some cases, a consumer reporting agency, individual, or organization that has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act must pay damages and your attorneys’ fees. You have two years to bring suit.

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The consumer protection and class action lawyers of Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, represent clients throughout Illinois, and in Federal Courts in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, and will consider substantial cases in other jurisdictions.