Credit Repair Organizations Act

                                 Federal Trade Commission ■ Bureau of Consumer Protection ■ Office of Consumer and Business Education

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION FOR THE CONSUMER TOLL-FREE 1-877-FTC-HELP WWW.FTC.GOV Out of Work? How to Deal with Creditors It ís become an all-too-familiar headline and lead story ó job cuts, failures, corporate restructuring and lay-offs. If you've recently lost your job, your first thoughts may be, how will I make ends meet.î Money matters are a source of stress and frustration for many people. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) publishes free brochures spelling out your rights when it comes to fair debt collection and credit reporting practices. Fair Debt Collection If you find that you cant pay your bills on time, contact your creditors immediately.


Try to work out a modified payment plan that reduces your payments to a more manageable level. Dont wait until your accounts have been turned over to a debt collector. At that point, your creditors have given up on you. The federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires debt collectors to treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection. To learn more, call the FTC ís Consumer Response Center for a free copy of Fair Debt Collection, or visit Fair Credit Reporting Non-payment and late payments may affect your credit rating and your ability to get credit in the future. Although creditors usually consider a number of factors in deciding whether to grant credit, most creditors rely heavily on your credit history.


That ís one reason it ís important to make sure your credit report is accurate. For example, if your file showed that you were once late in making payments, but didnt show that you are no longer delinquent, it would be inaccurate. The credit reporting agency must show that your payments now are current. The Fair Credit Reporting Act protects you by requiring credit bureaus to furnish correct and complete information to businesses to use in evaluating your applications for credit, insurance or a job. For more information, request a free copy of Fair Credit Reporting. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877- FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

                                                                                                  THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT


As a public service, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has prepared the following complete text of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Although staff generally followed the format of the U.S. Code as published by the Government Printing Office, the format of this text does differ in minor ways from the Code (and from West’s U.S. Code Annotated). For example, this version uses FCRA section numbers (§§ 601- 628) in the headings. (The relevant U.S. Code citation is included with each section heading and each reference to the FCRA in the text.) Although the staff has made every effort to transcribe the statutory material accurately, this compendium is intended only as a convenience for the public and not a subtitute for the text in the U.S. Code. This version of the FCRA includes the amendments to the FCRA set forth in the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-208, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1997, Title II, Subtitle D, Chapter 1), Section 311 of the Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 1998 (Public Law 105-107), the Consumer Reporting Employment Clarification Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-347), Section 506 of the Gramm-LeachBliley Act (Public Law 106-102), Sections 358(g) and 505(c) of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) (Public Law 107-56), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) (Public Law 108-159),


Section 719 of the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-351), the Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-241), and Sections 205 and 302 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-24).. The Commission’s website ( posted this document on July 7, 2009. The provisions added to the FCRA by the FACT Act became effective at different times. In some cases, the provision includes its own effective date. In other cases, the FACT Act provides that the effective dates be prescribed by the FTC and Federal Reserve Board. See 16 CFR Part 602 (69 Fed. Reg. 6526; February 11, 2004) (69 Fed. Reg. 29061; May 20, 2004).