How to complain to Federal Agencies About Credit Issues

Dispute credit card reports and file other types of consumer complaints using the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act.

If you need to file a credit report dispute with one or more credit, bureaus use these resources:

Federal Enforcement Agencies

  1. Complaining to Federal Enforcement Agencies
  2. Complaints about banks
  3. Complaints About Other Institutions.
  4. Penalties Under the Laws
  5. Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
  6. Fair Credit Billing Act
  7. Fair Credit Reporting Act
  8. Electronic Fund Transfer Act

Up 1. Complaining to Federal Enforcement Agencies

First, try to solve your problem directly with a creditor. If that fails, file a formal complaint with the Federal agencies responsible for carrying out consumer credit protection laws.

Up 2. Complaints About Banks.

If you have a complaint about a bank in connection with any of the Federal credit laws–or if you think a bank handled any part of your business unfairly or deceptively–you may get advice and help from the Federal Reserve. Your complaint does not have to be covered by Federal law, and you do not have to be a customer of the bank to file a complaint.

Submit your complaint in writing to:

Division of Consumer and Community Affairs,
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,
Washington, D.C. 20551

or the Reserve Bank nearest you

Be sure to describe the bank practice you are complaining about and give the name and address of the bank involved.

The Federal Reserve will respond within 15 days; with an answer or to explain why they need more time to handle your complaint. The additional time is required when complex issues are involved or when a Federal Reserve Bank will investigate the complaint. When this is the case, the Federal Reserve will try to keep you informed of their progress.

The Federal Reserve Board supervises only state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Thus they refer complaints about other institutions to the appropriate Federal regulatory agency and inform you of their action.

Up 3. Complaints About Other Institutions.

There are many regulatory agencies for other financial institutions and businesses other than banks. Many of these agencies do not handle individual complaints; however, they will use information about your credit experiences to help enforce the credit laws.

Visit the GSA website to learn more about where and how to file consumer complaints. Research and File a Complaint here

Up  4. Penalties Under the Laws

You may also take legal action against a creditor. If you decide to bring a lawsuit, under the Truth in Lending and Consumer Leasing Acts, here are the penalties a creditor must pay if you win:

If any creditor fails to disclose information required under these Acts, or gives inaccurate information, or does not comply with the rules about credit cards or the right to cancel certain home-secured loans, you;

    • As an individual may sue for actual damages!
    • Any money loss you suffered!
    • Twice the finance charge in the case of certain credit disclosures, or, if a lease is concerned, 25 percent of total monthly payments. (In either case, the least the court may award $100 up to $1,000.

Note: In any lawsuit that you win, the court awards you reimbursement for court costs and attorney’s fees.

Class action suits are also permitted. A class-action suit is one filed on behalf of a group of people with similar claims.

Up 5. Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

If you think you can prove that a creditor has discriminated against you for any reason prohibited by the Act, you as an individual may sue for actual damages plus punitive damages–that is, damages for the fact that the law has been violated–of up to $10,000.

In a successful lawsuit, the court will award you court costs and a reasonable amount of attorney’s fees.

Class action suits are also permitted.

Up 6. Fair Credit Billing Act.

A creditor who breaks the rules for the correction of billing errors automatically loses the amount owed on the item in question and any finance charges on it, up to a combined total of $50–even if the bill was correct.

You as an individual may also sue for actual damages plus twice the amount of any finance charges but in any case not less than $100 nor more than $1,000. You are also entitled to court costs and attorney’s fees in a successful lawsuit.

Class action suits are also permitted.

Up  7. Fair Credit Reporting Act.

You may pursue legal action against any credit reporting agency or creditor for breaking the rules about who may see your credit records or for not correcting errors in your file.

Again, you receive actual damages, plus punitive damages that the court may allow if you prove the violation was intentional. In any successful lawsuit, you also receive court costs and attorney’s fees.

A person who obtains a credit report without proper authorization–or an employee of a credit reporting agency who gives a credit report to unauthorized persons–may be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for one year, or both.

Class action suits are also permitted.

Up 8. Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

If a financial institution does not follow the provisions of the EFT Act, you may sue for actual damages (or in certain cases when the institution fails to correct an error or re-credit an account, for three times actual damages) plus punitive damages of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

You are also entitled to court costs and attorney’s fees in a successful lawsuit.

If an institution fails to make an electronic fund transfer or to stop payment of a pre-authorized transfer when properly instructed by you to do so, you may sue for all damages that result from the failure.

Class action suits are also permitted.