The Banking Law Journal The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

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This article provides a brief overview of recent Fair Credit Reporting Act litigation trends, defense strategies, and how to take an offensive approach to prevent claims. In line with its intended purpose of ensuring fairness, accuracy, and privacy of consumer information, the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") regulates and imposes duties on Consumer Reporting Agencies ("CRAs"), furnishers, and third parties with respect to the preparation, necessity, and use of consumer credit reports. Given the considerable role these reports play in the lives of consumers, litigation under the FCRA has continued to grow.

According to the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals ("ACA"), the growth of FCRA filings dates back to 2011, and the volume of litigation rose by nearly 400 filings last year alone.1 Indeed, consumer actions filed under the FCRA increased by nearly 60 percent over the course of a single month between August and September of 2017.2 This recent surge is largely due to the uptick in the use of consumer reports in the employment sector, with escalating actions against employers who have allegedly violated the FCRA. The rise in claims encompasses other areas of the statute as well. In particular, with the rise in identity theft, claims under the FCRA involving that issue will undoubtedly continue to increase. This article provides a brief overview of recent FCRA litigation trends, defense strategies, and how to take an offensive approach to prevent FCRA claims.

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