Enforcing Your Consumer Rights

Federal and state laws protect consumers of goods and services with a wide spectrum of rights. If you are a victim of unfair consumer practices or your credit score and report reveals errors or signs of potential identity theft, you have a right to dispute such errors. However, when you are a victim of fraudulent business practices, or when your private information has been used fraudulently, it is often a long and frustrating process to get the compensation you have a right to without the help of a knowledgeable advocate.

At Hyatt Browning Shirkey Law Firm, PLC, our firm focuses on consumer protection and fair credit reporting cases. We can help you to pursue justice in these complex cases. If you have a consumer dispute you cannot resolve on your own, discovered errors on your credit report or were denied credit because of an inaccurate report, call Hyatt Browning Shirkey Law Firm, PLC, at 540-613-8431 to work with a trusted consumer attorney.

Understanding The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Federal statutes like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protect consumers like yourself from harmful credit practices. It ensures that the information in your report is accurate, made available to you and kept private. When violations are discovered, you may pursue monetary damages for willful or negligent noncompliance.

For example, if a prospective employer or landlord requires a background check with your job or rental application, they must let you know ahead of time. The disclosure must be on a separate form, and must include a summary of your rights protected by the FCRA.

If you were not provided a disclosure and consent form, you may have cause for seeking action for noncompliance. Your prospective employer or landlord could face civil penalties for noncompliance of FCRA regulations. Ultimately, you may have a right to pursue actual damages because of their failure to disclose, up to $1000. In some cases, the court may include punitive damages and attorney's fees.

There are additional requirements on a prospective employer or landlord if you were not hired, or not rented to, based on information in your credit report. They must disclose the name, address and phone number of the credit reporting bureau that provided the information within a certain period of time. Filing a cause of action is a complex matter. Contact us at the Hyatt Browning Shirkey Law Firm, PLC, for a free phone consultation at 540-613-8431 if you believe your consumer rights have been compromised.

Other State And Federal Law Protections

State statutes like the Virginia Consumer Protection Act regulate use of your Social Security number along with myriad consumer transaction protections. The Virginia Fair Debt Collection Practices and the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act work together to govern debt collectors with respect to your privacy with confidentiality requirements, accuracy and proper use of your private information. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted to protect all forms of telephone consumers by governing the methods of "robocalls" and other solicitations by phone, fax machines and text. Damages may be awarded for violations and can also include attorney's fees.

Consult With A Trusted Consumer Protection Lawyer To Discuss Your Legal Options

If you are unsure what your next step is, contact our firm for assistance. Our unique knowledge can guide you throughout the process of enforcing your consumer rights and pursue damages on your behalf for violations of consumer protection laws. Schedule a free phone consultation at our Roanoke office by calling 540-613-8431 or by emailing us.