State Agencies Can Enforce FCRA Too

When discussing FCRA, we often concentrate our focus on certain individuals and entities trying to enforce the statute: the CFPB (or BCFP), FTC, class action firms, and individual plaintiffs.  Nonetheless, a recent settlement demonstrates the importance of yet another actor—state agencies. In In the Matter of Encore Capital Group, Inc., Midland Funding, LLC, and Midland Credit Management, Inc., a debt buyer learned this lesson while facing a multi-million dollar enforcement action from over 40 states, alleging violations of both FCRA and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”).

Editor's Note: Here is insideARM's article about the Encore/Midland matter.

While state authority to enforce the FDCPA and other consumer finance statutes arose as a result of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Act, state agencies have long been vested with the authority to enforce FCRA. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s(c) provides state agencies with the authority to investigate and bring enforcement actions against credit reporting agencies, furnishers, and other regulated persons under FCRA. This includes a broad range of relief, including injunctive relief, actual damages, statutory damages, and attorney’s fees.

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