Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
If you have ever purchased anything on credit, you have a credit report maintained by the three primary credit reporting agencies (CRAs) in the United States: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Credit reports include information about all of your past and present credit transactions — these reports are used to assign you a credit score. Your credit score and the information in your credit reports can affect your ability to qualify for jobs, mortgages, loans, credit cards, and insurance.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is in place to protect you and your credit report. The law applies to credit agencies that collect information, those who provide information to them (furnishers), and those who access your credit reports improperly (like creditors and debt collectors). If you believe a CRA or other entity neglected its duty or acted willfully in violating its obligations under the FCRA, you may be able to file a class action lawsuit to recover compensation.
The experienced FCRA attorneys at Nelson & Nelson in Belleville, Illinois proudly protect consumers and hold entities accountable for their violations. If you are in Illinois or Missouri and believe your rights have been violated, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.
Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations
CRAs can only release your credit report to authorized persons, or those with a “valid need,” such as creditors, landlords, insurers, and utilities, as well as employers but only if you gave express consent.
FCRA Background Checks
Disclosure and authorization – FCRA disclosure and authorization requirements apply to all candidates for full-time and part-time employment who will be subject to background checks.
- An employer may ask for a report about you from a CRA or other company that provides background information, but they must obtain your consent prior to doing so. They must disclose that they intend to conduct a background check and your consent to the background check must be separate from any other application materials. The authorization and disclosure form must stand alone and not have any extraneous information included or attached.
Adverse Action – If an employer takes any adverse action against you (the applicant or employee) as a result of information obtained in the report, such as denying to hire, denying to consider for a promotion, or terminating employment, the employer must adhere to the notification process under the FCRA.
- Prior to the employer acting on the information obtained from the report, the employer has to provide you with a “pre-adverse action” notice that must include a copy of the consumer report and Summary of Rights as outlined under the FCRA.
- After a statutory waiting period expires, the employer must provide you with an “Adverse Action Notice” that includes the information required by the statute itself.
If an employer conducts a background check and fails to follow the rules in place, they are in violation of the FCRA.