Bank of America FCRA Violations and Credit Report Errors | Bill Clanton

Bank of America FCRA Violations and Credit Report Errors

Frustrated consumer reviewing Bank of America credit report for FCRA violations

Bank of America FCRA Violations: What Consumers Need to Know

In recent years, Bank of America has faced numerous allegations of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations, leaving many consumers frustrated and seeking justice. As a consumer protection law firm focused on FCRA cases in Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, we’ve seen firsthand the impact these violations can have on individuals’ lives. Let’s dive into the world of Bank of America FCRA violations and what you can do if you’ve been affected.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act: Your Shield Against Inaccurate Reporting

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law designed to promote accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information in the files of consumer reporting agencies. It gives consumers the right to dispute inaccurate information and requires furnishers of information (like Bank of America) to investigate and correct errors.

“The FCRA is your first line of defense against credit reporting errors. Know your rights, and don’t be afraid to assert them.” – Consumer protection attorney

Common FCRA Violations by Bank of America

Based on consumer complaints and lawsuits, here are some of the most common violations of the fair credit reporting act committed by Bank of America:

  1. Inadequate identity theft protection measures
  2. Failure to properly investigate disputes
  3. Reporting inaccurate information
  4. Failing to remove fraudulent accounts
  5. Re-reporting previously deleted information

The Identity Theft Nightmare: A Clear FCRA Violation

The case of identity theft victims struggling with Bank of America’s credit reporting practices illustrates several serious FCRA violations. Let’s break down a real-life example from a CFPB complaint:

“My identity was stolen and used to purchase XXXX vehicles. I have filed a police report, FTC Identity theft report. I have reached out several times to Bank of America and XXXX XXXX XXXX with this proof. Since these loans were placed under my name in 2019, I was told they were deleted off of my credit. Now they are showing up on my credit again.”

This consumer’s experience highlights multiple ways in which Bank of America failed to comply with the FCRA:

  1. Failure to Conduct Reasonable Investigation (§ 1681s-2(b))
    • When a consumer disputes information with a credit bureau, the FCRA requires furnishers like Bank of America to conduct a reasonable investigation.
    • In this case, despite the consumer providing a police report and FTC Identity Theft Report, Bank of America seemingly failed to properly investigate and remove the fraudulent accounts.
  2. Re-reporting Previously Deleted Information (§ 1681i(a)(5))
    • The FCRA prohibits re-reporting information to consumer reporting agencies that has been deleted unless the furnisher certifies that the information is complete and accurate.
    • Bank of America violated this provision by allowing the previously deleted fraudulent accounts to reappear on the consumer’s credit report.
  3. Failure to Implement Identity Theft Procedures (§ 1681c-2)
    • The FCRA requires credit reporting agencies and furnishers to have procedures in place to respond to notifications of identity theft. In this situation the statute is satisfied, either a police report OR an FTC ID Theft affidavit are enough to trigger the blocking requirement. 
    • Bank of America’s apparent inability to permanently remove fraudulent accounts suggests a lack of adequate procedures.
  4. Reporting Inaccurate Information (§ 1681s-2(b))
    • Furnishers are prohibited from reporting information they know or have reasonable cause to believe is inaccurate. But to be able to enforce this you have to dispute it-by disputing with the credit bureau that is reporting it. 
    • By continuing to report accounts that the consumer had proven were fraudulent, Bank of America likely violated this provision.
  5. Failure to Properly Handle Direct Disputes (§ 1681s-2(a)(8))
    • The FCRA requires furnishers to conduct an investigation when they receive a direct dispute from a consumer.
    • The consumer’s statement that they “reached out several times to Bank of America” suggests that the bank failed to adequately respond to these direct disputes.

Another consumer’s experience further illustrates these violations:

“I immediately contacted XXXX for a 3-agency credit check and saw the BofA credit card listed as an account that was opened with a {$20000.00} credit limit that was maximized and never paid, resulting in a balance of over {$46000.00} that was ultimately written off. This account was not opened by me, and I have never held any bank accounts or credit cards with Bank of America.”

This consumer took all the right steps:

  1. Filed disputes with all three credit bureaus
  2. Filed an identity theft report with the FTC
  3. Filed a police report
  4. Sent a certified letter to Bank of America disputing the account

Despite these efforts, the consumer reports:

“My dispute with XXXX resulted in the account being deleted from my file, however the disputes both XXXX and XXXX were closed with the statement ‘we verified that this item belongs to you.’ However I have not been furnished with any of the evidence substantiating this determination by any credit bureau or by Bank of America.”

This response indicates further FCRA violations:

  1. Failure to Provide Investigation Results (§ 1681i(a)(6))
    • The FCRA requires that consumers be provided with the results of any reinvestigation.
    • Neither the credit bureaus nor Bank of America furnished evidence substantiating their determination, violating this provision.
  2. Failure to Notify Other Bureaus of Corrections (§ 1681s-2(b)(1)(D))
    • If an investigation finds that information is inaccurate, the furnisher must notify all consumer reporting agencies to which it provided the information.
    • The fact that one bureau deleted the account while others maintained it suggests Bank of America failed in this obligation.

These cases demonstrate how Bank of America’s handling of identity theft cases can spiral into multiple, compounding FCRA violations. For victims of identity theft, these violations exacerbate an already stressful situation, potentially causing severe damage to their credit scores and financial well-being.

If you’ve experienced similar issues with Bank of America and identity theft, it’s crucial to understand that you have rights under the FCRA. Consulting with an experienced FCRA attorney can help you navigate the complex process of disputing these errors and seeking appropriate remedies for any violations.

Taking Action: Your Rights Under the FCRA

When Bank of America violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have several options to protect their rights and seek justice. This section will explore these options in detail, empowering you to take control of your credit future.

1. File a Dispute

The first step in addressing FCRA violations is to file a dispute with both Bank of America and the credit bureaus. Here’s how:

  • Contact Bank of America: Send a certified letter detailing the inaccuracies in your credit report.
  • Notify Credit Bureaus: File disputes with Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  • Provide Evidence: Include copies of relevant documents, such as account statements or identity theft reports.

“A well-documented dispute is your first line of defense against credit reporting errors.” – Consumer advocate

2. Document Everything

Keeping detailed records is crucial when dealing with FCRA violations:

  • Save all correspondence with Bank of America and credit bureaus
  • Record dates and times of phone calls
  • Keep copies of credit reports showing inaccuracies

This documentation can be vital if you need to escalate your case to a lawsuit.

3. File a Complaint with the CFPB

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) oversees FCRA compliance:

  1. Visit the CFPB complaint portal
  2. Provide details about the FCRA violation
  3. The CFPB will forward your complaint to Bank of America for response

If Bank of America fails to address your concerns, you may have grounds for an FCRA lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can sue for actual damages, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees
  • Damages for willful violations can range from $100 to $1,000 per violation
  • Punitive damages may be available in cases of willful noncompliance

5. Understand the Statute of Limitations

  • Generally, you have 2 years from the date of discovery of the violation to file a lawsuit
  • The deadline extends to 5 years from the date of the violation if it’s discovered later

6. Protect Your Credit Worthiness

While pursuing action against Bank of America:

  • Monitor your credit reports regularly
  • Consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your files
  • Dispute any new inaccuracies promptly

7. Know Your Rights as a Furnisher of Information

Bank of America, as a furnisher of credit information, has specific obligations:

  • Must provide accurate information to credit reporting agencies
  • Required to investigate consumer disputes promptly
  • Prohibited from re-reporting previously deleted information without verification

8. Seek Professional Help

Navigating FCRA violations can be complex. Consider consulting with an experienced FCRA attorney who can:

  • Evaluate the strength of your case
  • Guide you through the litigation process
  • Negotiate with Bank of America on your behalf

At Clanton Law Office, we focus on helping consumers fight back against FCRA violations. Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of FCRA law and can help you understand your rights and options.

Remember, the FCRA was enacted to protect consumers like you. Don’t let Bank of America’s mistakes impact your financial future. Whether it’s inaccurate reporting, failure to investigate disputes, or other violations, you have the right to challenge these errors and seek appropriate remedies.

By taking action, you’re not just protecting your own credit worthiness – you’re also holding furnishers of information accountable and contributing to a fairer, more accurate credit reporting system for all consumers.

Bank of America’s Response to FCRA Lawsuits

Bank of America, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, has faced numerous allegations of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. When they become Defendant Bank of America, their responses have been varied and complex, often reflecting the intricate nature of credit reporting and the challenges faced by large-scale furnishers of information. Don’t be intimidated by considering your right of action against a large national bank. When they report it the information must be accurate. BoA is like any other party to a lawsuit, the same rules of civil procedure apply to them. 

Protecting Yourself from Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations

In today’s financial landscape, vigilance is key to maintaining accurate credit reports. Here’s how to safeguard your credit:

1. Monitor Your Credit Regularly

  • Check your free annual credit reports from all three major bureaus.
  • Consider staggering requests every four months for year-round monitoring.
  • Utilize free credit monitoring services offered by financial institutions.

2. Act Quickly on Discrepancies

  • Address errors immediately to minimize impact on your credit score.
  • Document when you discover errors for potential future action.
  • Gather evidence proving the information is incorrect.

3. Be Thorough in Disputes

  • Submit disputes in writing via certified mail.
  • Include copies of all relevant supporting documents.
  • Clearly explain why the information is inaccurate and request corrections.

4. Know Your Rights Under the FCRA

  • Familiarize yourself with key FCRA provisions.
  • Understand timelines for investigations and your right to free reports after disputes.
  • Exercise your right to add a statement to your report if a dispute isn’t resolved in your favor.

5. Consider a Credit Freeze

  • Implement a freeze to prevent unauthorized new accounts.
  • Remember, freezes are now free for all consumers.
  • Place freezes with each major credit bureau separately.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to protect your credit profile. If you encounter persistent issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional legal assistance. At Clanton Law Office, we’re here to help consumers navigate FCRA-related challenges.

If you’ve taken these steps and are still facing issues with Bank of America’s credit reporting practices, it may be time to consult with an experienced FCRA attorney. At Clanton Law Office, we focus on helping consumers in Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Wisconsin fight back against FCRA violations.

Remember, you have the right to accurate credit reporting. Don’t let Bank of America’s furnish information with mistakes and allow it to impact your financial future. Take action today to protect your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Q: What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

A: The FCRA is a federal law that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information. It requires credit bureaus to adopt reasonable procedures to ensure the information on your credit report is accurate. 

Q: What are common violations of the FCRA?

A: Common violations of the FCRA include inaccurate credit reporting, failure to notify consumers of adverse actions, and mishandling of credit information. Mixed files, identity theft, and furnishing inaccurate information give rise to a private right of action under the FCRA. 

Q: What are credit reporting agencies?

A: Credit reporting agencies are companies that collect and maintain credit information on individuals, such as Experian Information Solutions, Equifax Information Services, and Trans Union.

Q: How can a plaintiff allege violations of the FCRA?

A: When furnishers of credit information engage in bad credit reporting, a plaintiff can file suit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act by filing a lawsuit against the defendant, such as a credit card company or a credit reporting agency.

Q: What are the consequences of violating the FCRA?

A: Violations of the FCRA can lead to punitive damages, legal actions, and potential financial penalties for the violating party. Denied credit, false information reported to the credit bureaus, and false credit information provided to users of credit reports (potential creditors). 

Q: What is the significance of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in relation to FCRA violations?

A: The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act complements the FCRA by regulating how debt collectors can collect debts and report them to credit reporting agencies. Violations of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8) can also be a violation of the FCRA. These statues compliment each other. 

Q: How does Bank of America come into play regarding FCRA violations and credit report errors?

A: Bank of America may be involved in FCRA violations and credit report errors if they have furnished false information or violated consumer credit laws. If you believe you have a case against Bank of America then make sure you have dispute the inaccurate information and then give us a call. 

About The Author

Bill Clanton

Over the years my office has helped thousands of consumers who were cheated, ripped-off, and mistreated by debt collectors, credit reporting agencies, banks, credit unions, and car dealers. If you have a problem with a business being dishonest with you give me a call. I’d love to set them straight.