Credit Laws

The Federal Trade Commission publishes and enforces consumer credit laws, including:


You as an individual may sue for damages and any monetary loss you suffer if a creditor fails to disclose information required under these acts, gives inaccurate information, does not comply with the rules about credit cards or the right to cancel certain home-secured loans. In addition, you can sue for twice the finance charge in the case of certain credit disclosures or if a lease is concerned, 25 percent of total monthly payments. In either case, the least the court may award you if you win is $100, and the most is $1,000. You are entitled to reimbursement for court costs and attorney’s fees with any lawsuit you win. Class action suits are also permitted. A class-action suit is one filed on behalf of a group of people with similar claims.


If you think you can prove that a creditor has discriminated against you for any reason prohibited by this act, you as an individual may sue for actual damages plus punitive damages, that is if damages for the fact that the law has been violated- of up to $10,000. In a successful lawsuit, the court will award you court costs and a reasonable amount for attorney’s fees. Class action suits are also permitted.


A creditor who breaks the rules for the correction of billing errors automatically loses the amount owed on the item in question and any finance charges on it. Even if the bill was correct it can be up to a combined total of $50. You as an individual may also sue for actual damages plus twice the amount of any finance charges but in any case not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. In a successful lawsuit, you are also entitled to court costs and attorney’s fees. Class action suits are also permitted.


You may enforce legal action on any credit reporting agency or creditor for breaking the rules about who may see your credit records or for not correcting errors in your file. Again, you are entitled to actual damages, plus punitive damages that the court may allow if the violation is proved to have been intentional. In any successful lawsuit, you will also be awarded court costs and attorney’s fees. A person who obtains a credit report without proper authorization or an employee of a credit-reporting agency who gives a credit report to unauthorized persons may be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for one year, or both.


These rules and other consumer credit rights may be found at:

If you have any further questions please contact our credit experts here!

Disclaimer: When negative information in your credit report is accurate only the passage of time can assure it is removed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a credit reporting company can report most accurate negative information for seven years and bankruptcy information for ten years.