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Mortgage Broker Ordered to Pay $120K in FCRA Fines
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined California-based Mortgage Solutions FC, Inc., (also doing business as Mount Diablo Lending) for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FTC complaint alleged Mortgage Solutions disclosed consumers’ nonpublic and personal financial information without their consent on the popular consumer review website, Yelp.
In retaliation for negative client reviews on Yelp, Mortgage Solutions disclosed the following personal protected information of its consumers in direct violation of the FCRA:
- Consumer names
- Credit histories
- Sources of income
- Debt ratio
- Family relationships
- Consumer health information
What is the FCRA?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The federal law was passed in 1970 to regulate the collection of consumers’ credit information and access to their credit reports.
What Violates the FCRA?
The intent of the FCRA is to protect consumers from having their personal information used against them. When consumers are unaware their information is being shared or used without their consent or which information is being disclosed, they are vulnerable to identity attacks and credit report damage.
Because consumer credit reports are used in a multitude of decisions that can highly impact a person’s life, such as applying for a job, buying a home, or applying for educational loans, it is important the information being reported is fair and accurate.
In order to outline clear protections for consumers, the FCRA details consumer rights, such as:
- The right to be informed if your information is being used against you
- The right to know what information is in your file
- The right to request a credit score
- The right to dispute incorrect or inaccurate information
- Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information
- Consumer reporting agencies may not use outdated negative information
- Access to consumer files is limited
- Consumers must give consent for the release of their credit reports to employers
- Consumers may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance based on information in their credit reports
In addition to the above rights, consumers also have the right to obtain a security freeze on their credit reports, which would prohibit a consumer-reporting agency from releasing information in a credit report without the consumer’s express authorization.
There are several instances in which a consumer may seek damages from FCRA violators. If a consumer reporting agency, a furnisher of information to a consumer reporting agency, or a user of consumer reports uses a consumer’s information against them in any way violating the above-outlined rights, the consumer may seek compensation in state or federal court.
Nationwide FCRA Attorneys
It is a serious violation of federal law to use a consumer’s personal credit information against them or to report incorrect or inaccurate information on a consumer. If your personal information was improperly used against you or without your express consent, you may be the victim of a Fair Credit Reporting Act violation. The national trial lawyers at Whitfield, Bryson & Mason LLP can help. Our lawyers have successfully obtained compensation for thousands of FCRA class action plaintiffs across the country. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
For over 28 years, Dan has focused his practice on complex civil litigation, successfully representing thousands of owners in a wide variety of defective construction product suits, class actions, and various mass torts and recovering more than $1.25 billion for his clients in numerous states throughout the country.Read bio
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