Fort Lauderdale Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft affects more than ten million people every year and can cause serious financial harm or ruin to one’s credit. One of the main goals of identity thieves is to take the personal information they have stolen and use it to open up an account, such as obtaining a credit card, in that person’s name. Of course, the thieves don’t bother to pay off the charges they rack up, but their lack of payment shows up on your credit report, as a very big black mark. Congress enacted FACTA to combat the growing problem of identity theft and help protect innocent consumers from being victimized on their credit report. Learn more about identity theft and FACTA below, and contact Sweeney Law, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale if you have been the victim of identity theft in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale identity theft lawyer can help you figure out your options to get your life back and recover from any harm done to you or your credit report.
Facts abut FACTA – the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act
Congress passed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) in 2003 as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The goal of FACTA was to lower the risk of identity theft by regulating the handling of consumer account information by credit bureaus. One change made by FACTA that you probably already know about is your right to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. FACTA also requires that consumers be allowed to purchase their credit score at any time for a reasonable fee, including information about how their score is calculated. Another change is that lenders are required to provide consumers with a “risk-based pricing notice” whenever they offer credit on less than their most favorable terms.
Red Flag Rules
FACTA requires banks and creditors covered under the act to have a written program in place to prevent, detect or mitigate the effects of identity theft regarding accounts under their control. These are known as red flag rules.
Identity Theft Rights
A credit reporting agency should provide you with a summary of your rights under the law if you contact them and state you believe you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud. The agency should also block any information that you identify as resulting from identity theft. This block should be placed within four days of the receipt of proof of the theft by the consumer.
Other consumer identity theft rights include:
- The right to place fraud alerts on credit reports
- The right to block businesses and credit bureaus from reporting information in credit files
- The right to obtain business information about accounts or transactions carried out in their name from identity theft
Active duty military personnel have additional rights under FCRA and FACTA, such as the ability to place an Active Duty Military Alert on their credit file to minimize the risk of identity theft during deployment.
General Consumer Rights
Whether a victim of identity theft or not, FACTA and the FCRA give all consumers the following rights:
- The right to see their credit files
- The right to know when your credit files are used against you
- The right to correct inaccuracies in your file
- The right to opt out of unsolicited offers
You can learn more about these rights by visiting our page on your rights under the FCRA.
Fort Lauderdale Identity Theft Lawyer Helping Identity Theft Victims in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties
If you have been the victim of identity theft, you may be able to sue the thieves as well as the credit reporting agencies, if they have violated their duties under the law. Take back your identity and recover for the financial harm done to you. Contact Sweeney Law, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale for personal service from a dedicated, skilled and knowledgeable Florida consumer lawyer.