Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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The most effective way to get this cleared up if your own attempts are not working is to hire a FCRA attorney. This is because you are also entitled to damages if you can show that the CRA negligently failed to comply with its obligations under the FCRA. You would then be entitled to recover your actual damages and attorney's fees and costs. Since these fees can be shifted, the lawyer can use that law as leverage to get a quick resolution for you. Try this link to locate a FCRA attorney near you.
1. The attorney that you spoke with must not specialize in FCRA cases. He only told you about the basic statutory damages which are between $100 and $1,000. To get these you don't have to prove that the violation harmed you. There is an alternative remedy if you can prove negligent or intentional conduct for which there is no set damage limit. You can ask for your actual damages and punitive damages if intentional conduct can be shown. In your case, you could keep sending letters and if they keep ignoring them and you keep copies of your letter and document your repeated efforts, then you may be able to show intentional conduct.
more to come...
2. We are not permitted to refer any particular attorney to JA customers this is why I gave you a link to the State Bar. These types of lawyers advertise themselves as consumer law attorneys or financial services lawyers as well as FCRA and FDCPA lawyers. You may want to try these links: http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org.
3. The FCRA allows your lawyer to collect his fees from the CRA's if he wins the case. So the CRAs are much more likely to get these issues resolved efficiently since they could get pinned with the legal fees that you initially incur.
4. I do not know anything about debtorsboard.com
5. You can use an out of state lawyer if he is also licensed in Idaho.
6. Whether you may sue for this in small claims court is an involved issue and will require some research on my part. You may want to submit this as a new question. That said, the claim does not have to be filed in federal court; it can be made in State court.
7. Arbitration is a possibility if you can get the CRAs to agree to it.
Sure. Once the CRAs receive a letter from an FCRA attorney, they know that there is now a risk that all of the time that the lawyer spends on your case may get shifted to them for payment by court order. Now not only do they have to worry about fixing your report, but they also have to worry about footing your legal bill. Naturally, they will give your case more attention and priority in order to avoid having to payout this extra money.
For example, there was a FCRA case filed against Home Depot for damage to a customer's credit reputation and the jury awarded about 1 million in damages against Home Depot for not contacting the CRAs and removing the negative information that this customer asked Home Depot to do over and over.
I am sorry, I am not in a position to evaluate your case. This is something that needs to be done in person by a local attorney who has all the facts and evidence at his disposal. Even a minor detail overlooked can make the difference between a winning and losing case. This is why people hire lawyers because they are trained in looking at these details and bringing them to life. If you cannot find a lawyer to help you, you can file your own case in a State court that is at a higher level than small claims court. Small claims courts are funny in that they handle certain cases and not others.
One simple thing you can try is to file what is called a declaratory judgment action and ask the court to issue an order that based on all the evidence that you have presented, XYZ negative items should not be on your reports and the CRAs would be ordered to remove them. Here is the law.
Thank you for your reply
There is concurrent jurisdiction on FCRA claims, so they can be heard in state court or federal court. If you sue in federal court, you have to sue in a jurisdiction where the defendant is located and if they have an agent for service in your state, you would have to sue in your state. You cannot just go shop courts in other jurisdiction, the proper venue is state or federal court where you are located.