Understanding Section 611(e) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of American consumers frustrated by problems with their credit reports—maintained by one of the nation’s three largest credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—you may wonder if there’s anything you can do. But there are ways to repair your credit. Let’s briefly look at one such tool: Section 611(e) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Under FCRA’s section 611(e), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) collect complaints from consumers who have issues with their credit reports. If a consumer says they’ve already tried to fix the problem on their own, that is a “covered complaint” (i.e., it is covered under the law), and CFPB must forward covered complaints to the bureaus.

Once CFPB has forwarded a complaint to a credit bureau, the credit bureau must confirm that it has fulfilled all of the statutory requirements relating to the consumer’s record. Then the bureau reports its findings back to the CFPB. Since the bureau cannot ignore the complaint and must examine the file, a report to CFPB is effectively a way to escalate a consumer’s complaint.

More than 80% of all complaints received by CFPB are covered complaints. And the FRCA also requires the CFPB to compile an annual report analyzing these complaints to see if it can identify any trends within the bureaus’ practices.

Crucially, for each covered complaint, CFPB asks the bureau to confirm whether the consumer really did previously submit a dispute directly to the bureau. And through CFPB’s recent analysis of its received complaints, CFPB did indeed make a major discovery: The bureaus confirmed that they had received consumers’ disputes—but many of the complaints had come from “credit repair agencies.” The bureaus consider these complaints unreliable, so they disregard them and don’t take any action.

That’s why you need a credit attorney to help you. With an attorney preparing your complaint, it’s more likely that the bureaus will take action to correct your file. And if they don’t, a lawyer can help you obtain compensation for any damages you sustained.

If you have problems with your credit report, contact an attorney who specializes in representing clients like you. Don’t wait. Call today.