Even if you’ve had credit cards or other forms of financing for several years, you might not fully understand how credit reporting rules work or how they apply to you. There are a number of laws that deal with reporting, debt collection and other related matters, and it’s important to know your rights especially if you’re being contacted by a creditor or collection agency. Here are some of the primary laws that impact credit reporting procedures and consumer debt protections.

Credit Reporting Rules and Laws

Fair Credit Reporting Act & Amendments: FCRA was enacted to protect consumers from having inaccurate or misleading information reported to files maintained by credit agencies. The law requires the agencies to provide details about what’s contained within your credit history and enables you to contest errors.

The Risk-Based Pricing Rule is included in an amendment to FCRA and is intended to assure more transparency in the lending process. The rule requires certain disclosures that must be given by lenders and credit card companies so that you better understand how your credit history is used to set your score. Consumers receive Risk-Based Pricing notices from lenders, which include your credit score; it also has a statement that this number was used in making a decision regarding whether to extend credit and how much.


Credit CARD Act:
Passed in 2009, the Credit CARD Act includes a few different mandates intended to protect consumer in credit arrangements. One requirement is that a credit card company cannot increase your interest rate without notifying you in writing at least 45 days before raising it. Plus, the new rate only applies to new transactions, not those that were initiated under the previous interest rate. There are also limits on how much a credit card company can increase fees and rates.


Fair Debt Collection Practices Act:
The FDCP contains rules that creditors and collection agencies must adhere to when trying to collect a debt from you. Abusive practices and harassment are prohibited, such as calling too early in the morning or late at night. Debt collectors are also banned from calling you at work when they’ve been warned that this practice is not acceptable to your employer.

 

Truth in Lending Act: TILA provisions require that lenders apply uniform methods for making decisions to extend credit to consumers. The organizations where you apply for credit must also fully disclose the terms of the arrangement so you know exactly how much it will cost to borrow funds. In addition, TILA limits your liability in the event that your credit card is lost, stolen or used without your permission. You are not responsible for any amount over $50 after reporting the unauthorized usage of your card. TILA also contains a prohibition on the issuance of a credit card if you haven’t actually applied for it.

 

Credit Reporting Laws In California

Of course, there are countless other credit reporting laws – at the federal level and in California. These rules can be quite complex, so you may need the assistance of a San Diego credit card debt attorney if you’re being harassed by creditors or have other questions about your rights.

Daniel R. Gamez, an attorney focusing exclusively in debt settlement, is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Texas. Mr. Gamez owns and operates the Gamez Law Firm in La Jolla, CA. For more information, please contact Daniel Gamez at 858-217-5051, daniel@gamezlawfirm.com or visit gamezlawfirm.com.