October 26, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.), which along with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Truth in Lending Act, forms the foundation of federal consumer rights law in the United States. To celebrate this important milestone, Troutman Pepper’s Consumer Financial Services Law Monitor would like to dedicate today’s blog to the FCRA.

The FCRA regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information. Enacted in 1970, the FCRA marks one of the first data protection laws passed in the computer age, setting the direction of information privacy in the United States and throughout the world. Its innovative measures have protected consumers against the willful and/or negligent inclusion of inaccurate information in their credit reports, while also overseeing the three major credit bureaus and the entities (banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies, and other financing companies) furnishing the bureaus’ credit information. Over the last 50 years, the FCRA has tackled issues from basic disclosure rights and protections to modern-day identity theft, constantly evolving to meet consumer needs. Indeed, the FCRA is more vibrant than ever, with notable recent increases in civil litigation and government regulatory interest in recent years.

To help our clients navigate the complexities of the FRCA, our Financial Services Litigation Practice Group comes highly experienced in all aspects of the FCRA, having earned a national reputation as an FCRA powerhouse, particularly for our many precedent-setting matters. We regularly represent users, furnishers, and consumer reporting agencies in nationwide individual and class-action litigation matters, covering all aspects of the FCRA, including credit reporting, employment, consumer credit, and insurance transactions. Our attorneys skillfully defend clients under all FCRA provisions — from accuracy, matching procedures, and permissible purposes for accessing information to obsolete information, consumer disclosures, and forms of notice to consumers-to-consumer disputes and reinvestigations. We strategically counsel clients in FCRA compliance (including audits), employment background screening provisions, and class-related issues under Federal Rule 23 to help strengthen their regulatory positions in settlement and both before and after litigation.

Happy Anniversary FCRA!