Jeffrey Bils, a UCLA law student, has published Fighting Unfair Credit Reports: A Proposal to Give Consumers More Power to Enforce the Fair Credit Reporting Act, in the latest UCLA Law Review Discourse. Here's a summary:
Credit reports play a central role in some of our most important transactions, such as buying a house or car, or even getting a job. Yet an alarming number of credit reports contain damaging inaccuracies. The primary purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is to protect consumers against these inaccuracies, but the FCRA also makes it very difficult for consumers to force creditors to fix errors. In particular, there is no private right of action to enforce the creditor’s duty of accuracy unless a consumer first notifies a third party—a consumer reporting agency such as Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax—and unless that agency in turn notifies the creditor. This structure raises significant procedural hurdles for a consumer and can make it extremely difficult to sufficiently plead a cause of action against a creditor. This Essay argues that Congress should change the law to give consumers the private right of action they now lack.