“How Technological Changes to Processing of Credit Reporting Disputes May Increase Banks’ Exposure to Civil Liability or Administrative Scrutiny of Their Activities as Data Furnishers Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) comprehensively regulates all aspects of the credit reporting system in the United States. Violations of the statute can lead to significant civil liability: actual damages for a negligent violation, and statutory and punitive damages for a willful violation. A prevailing plaintiff also may be awarded attorneys’ fees. These cases can and do go to jury trial, and occasionally lead to substantial verdicts. Although the historic targets of most FCRA litigation have been credit bureaus, recent changes in the credit reporting system increase the risk of private litigation against banks. They also increase the likelihood of regulatory scrutiny.