Credit Laws

The federal Trade Commission Publishes and enforces consumer credit laws, including:

TRUTH IN LENDING AND CONSUMER LEASING ACTS

If any creditor fails to disclosure information required under these Acts, or gives inaccurate information, or does not comply with the rules about credit cards or the right to cancel certain Home- secured loans, you as an individual may sue for actual damages and any money loss you suffer. In addition, you can sue for twice the finance charge in the case of certain credit disclosures, or, if a lese 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. In any lawsuit that you win, you are entitled to reimbursement for court costs and attorney’s fees. Class action suits are also permitted. A class action suit is one filed on behalf of a group of people with similar claims.

EQUAL CREDIT OPPORTUNITY ACT

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, 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.

FAIR CREDIT BILLING ACT

A creditor who breaks the rules for the correction of billing errors automatically loses the amount owned on the item in question and any finance charges on it, up to a combined total of $50 even if the bill was correct. 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. You are also entitled to court costs and attorney’s fees in a successful lawsuit. Class action suits are also permitted.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

You may sue 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 awarder 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.

FAIR DEBT COLLECTIONS PRACTICES ACT

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

www.ftc.gov