Issue: Does the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) apply to a county in Minnesota?
|Area of Law:||Banking & Finance Law|
|Keywords:||Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); Requirements of FCRA|
|Cited Cases:||90 F. Supp. 2d 754; 103 F. Supp. 2d 1296|
|Cited Statutes:||15 U.S.C. §§ 1681—1681u (1999)|
Under the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681—1681u (1999), “[a]ny person who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement [under the Act] with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer” for actual damages, court costs and attorneys’ fees. Id. § 1681o (emphasis added). In addition, “[a]ny person who willfully fails to comply with any requirement [of the Act] with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer” for actual damages, or damages of not less than $100 nor more than $1000; punitive damages; and the costs and attorneys’ fees necessitated by bringing the action to recover such damages. Id. § 1681n (emphasis added).
The Act defines “person” to include “any . . . government or governmental subdivision or agency.” Id. § 1681a(b). “Consumer” is generally defined as “an individual.” Id. § 1681a(c).
The FCRA sets forth various requirements applicable to consumer reporting agencies and also specific requirements applicable to “furnishers of information.” Section 1681s-2 of the FCRA prohibits the reporting of information relating to a consumer if the furnisher “knows or consciously avoids knowing that the information is inaccurate.” Id. § 1681s-2(a)(1)(A). It further prohibits the reporting of information after notice and confirmation of errors, and it sets forth several affirmative duties applicable to furnishers of information. Id. § 1681s-2(a)(1)(B), (a)(2)—(5). Violations of § 1681s-2(a) do not give rise to a private cause of action by the consumer who is the subject of the erroneous information, but rather the State may bring an action on the consumer’s behalf. Id. §§ 1681s-2(c), (d); 1681s(c)(1)(B).