The credit reporting system is in crisis. A 2005 survey by the U.S. Public Research Group found that a whooping 79% of credit reports contained errors. These errors cause harm to consumers. Consumers are being denied credit, paying untold billions and billions of dollars in unfair interest rate charges, higher cost for insurance premiums, denied apartment leases and denied employment. All due to credit reporting errors.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act states, in part:
“Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates” 15 U.S.C. § 1681e (b)
The plain language of this statute places a very high burden on the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. As a federal appellate court explained:
"Congress did not limit the Act’s mandate to reasonable procedures to assure only technical accuracy; to the contrary, the Act requires reasonable procedures to assure ‘maximum accuracy.’” Koropoulous v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 734 F.2d 37, 40 (D.C. Cir. 1984).
The problem is not with the law. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is good law. The crux of the problem deals with enforcement. Responsibility for enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act lies with consumers themselves and trial lawyers expert at litigating civil actions against the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.