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Identity Theft & Credit Reporting Lawyers > Blog > Credit Report > What Types Of Damages Are Available For Inaccurate Credit Report Cases?

What Types Of Damages Are Available For Inaccurate Credit Report Cases?

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act authorizes damages for both negligent and willful violations of the statutory requirements related to the investigation of credit disputes and accuracy of information reported by credit reporting agencies.  Typically, the damages available are broken down into three distinct categories: economic damages, intangible damages, and punitive damages.  Depending on the circumstances of the case and the type of violation, the categories of damages and the amount of damages recoverable can vary.  If you have any questions about what types of damages may be available for your specific type of inaccurate credit report case, please contact our office.

Damages for monetary losses under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Economic damages available under the Fair Credit Reporting Act cover pecuniary or monetary losses.  These types of damages compensate a consumer for the denial of credit, higher interest rates received on credit, or obtaining less of a credit line than a consumer otherwise would have qualified.  When an inaccurate background employment credit check occurs, damages related to the salary lost may also be recoverable by a consumer.  In some instances, time spent working to solve the problem may be recoverable as well as out of pocket expenses that are related to efforts to enforce the various requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Damages that are potentially recoverable can vary from person to person, so you should be sure to identify any potential damages for discussion when you consult with a credit report lawyer.

Damages for Intangible Losses under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Non-economic damages or intangible damages are recoverable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to compensate the consumer for damages related to emotional distress.  These damages are best described and related to the frustration, upset, anger, embarrassment, and humiliation related to the inaccurate credit information.  A consumer will want to discuss issues that demonstrate emotional distress like physical manifestations of distress including: upset stomach, loss of sleep, hair loss, or fatigue.  In addition, injury to reputation that results in a withdrawal from family, work, or social events can corroborate the negative impact that the inaccurate credit report placed on a consumer’s daily life activities.  In cases that out firm has tried to a jury, friends and family members have testified about the change in demeanor in a consumer as a result of the inaccurate credit reporting. While it may be difficult to discuss the effects of inaccurate credit reporting, please be sure to describe what you are experiencing when you discuss your situation with a credit report lawyer.

Punitive damages for Willful Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Punitive damages are authorized under the Fair Credit Reporting Act when the violation was willful which means that the violation was either an intentional violation of the statute or a violation of the statute that was in reckless disregard for the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  In addition, actions that created an unjustifiable risk of harm that was so obvious that the person should have known not to undertake the act can support punitive damages.  Specific examples of cases that have permitted the recovery of punitive damages include when a credit reporting agency published mixed credit files because procedures that allowed a mixed credit file created a high risk of harm and when furnishers of credit information recklessly disregard and systematically ignore information regarding the inaccuracy of the credit information that the furnisher reported. Experienced credit report lawyers like our firm have extensive experience in the issues and facts that cause and lead to a case that could permit the recovery of significant punitive damages.

If you have an error on your credit report and need legal help getting it corrected contact the Virginia Credit report error lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano, P.C.  (571) 207-8331 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.

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