The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law regulating the gathering, dissemination, and use of a person?s credit report information. It is designed to prevent wrong or outdated information from appearing or remaining on a person?s credit report. This act guides the credit bureaus? procedures for collecting, maintaining, and disseminating information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is perhaps most famous for stopping bureaus from reporting negative information that is older than seven years (bankruptcies can be reported for 10 years). The law also dictates that if a consumer notifies a credit bureau of an error, the bureaus must investigate within 30 days and remove inaccurate and unverified information.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act is a federal law that bars unfair, abusive, and harassing debt collection practices, including lying, misleading, or otherwise abusive procedures. The law applies only to debt collectors working for collection agencies and does not apply to creditors collecting their own debts. This is the law that stops debt collectors from calling your home at 2 a.m., and it has alleviated much of the financial torture that correlates with debt and poor credit. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous debt collectors ignore the law.
The Fair Credit Billing Act outlines the rights you have when an error occurs on your credit card statement. Namely, if you contact the credit card company within 60 days of the mistake, the company must correct the error within 30 to 90 days or explain why it believes the credit card statement is correct.
STATE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Click here for a list of the statute of limitations on debt collection by state. Remember that the laws governing debt collection and credit are constantly changing.