Consumers must realize the importance of understanding the credit law and Acts that are put in place to protect them. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is responsible for enforcing these laws and providing consumers with information regarding them. They can be contacted by mail, telephone or email. The following highlights the common rules and Acts that are regulated by the FTC.
The Consumer Leasing Act requires that any leasing company informs the consumer about the facts and details about the cost and terms of the contracts they offer. The Credit Repair Organizations Act was put into place so that those looking to repair their credit from a credit repair organization are given the information necessary to make informed decisions about the purchase of credit repair services. It also protects the consumer from deceptive or biased advertising and practices. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits any lender from denying someone credit due to sex, marital status, race, religion, nationality, age or if the applicant receives public assistance.
The Fair Credit Billing Act puts guidelines and procedures in place for resolving billing errors that appear on credit card statements. While the Fair Credit Reporting Act gives any person the right to know what information appears on reports distributed by credit reporting agencies. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act gives guidelines and procedures for collections companies that keep them from utilizing biased or deceptive strategies for collecting on past due bills.
The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act is put in place to protect consumers by limiting certain terms of high cost home loans. The interest rate or fees cannot be above a certain level. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act states that identity theft is a Federal crime that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison with a maximum fine of $250,000. It also clearly defines the individual whose identity was taken as a victim. Created on July 1, 1997 to promote accuracy, the Notices of Rights and Duties under the FCRA makes sure that the credit files created by credit reporting agencies are fair and kept private. The Truth in Lending Act makes sure that the lender gives the consumer a written disclosure about the costs of credit and the terms of payment, before entering into a transaction.
Credit Laws are in place to protect the consumer. The Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Credit Repair Organizations Act are laws that directly influence and effect credit repair and services that offer credit repair.
Some prohibited practices are also put into place to protect the consumer. In general, no one may make any statements, counsel or advice a consumer to make a statement which would be considered false or misleading about their credit standing or worthiness. That includes instances when it is known to be false by the credit repair organization, officer, employee, agent or anyone else. The credit agency or any individual who has offered credit to a consumer or to whom a consumer has applied for credit may not make a statement or advise the consumer to make a statement in which the intension is to alter the consumer’s identification in order to prevent displaying their credit history. They may not advise or make a false statement in order to hide unfavorable information that is correct from a consumer reporting agency.
Any individual that has given credit to a consumer or whom a consumer has applied for credit with cannot make any false representation of the services which are offered by the credit repair organization. They also may not engage, directly or indirectly, in any business practice that results in the commission of fraud on anyone with connections to the services of the credit repair organization. Finally, a credit repair organization my not charge or receive money for the performance of services that the organization has agreed to carry out for the consumer before the service has been rendered.