When the Statute of Limitations Rules.
Now you may be wondering, what is the Statute of Limitations and how does it apply to me? The Statute of Limitations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides a limited amount of time that a plaintiff may file an FCRA violation in court. The plaintiff has up to 2 years after discovering the violation or 5 years after a violation occurs, whichever is earlier. After that, FCRA violations may no longer be brought to court.
Here’s an example. Just recently, a Nevada federal court dismissed an FCRA lawsuit because the plaintiff didn’t file within the Statute of Limitations. In the case of Carrington v. Santander Consumer U.S.A. Inc., the consumer filed a dispute with Experian credit bureau in 2014 because she saw an entry on her credit report which she found to be inaccurate. Experian contacted Santander who confirmed the information to be correct. Experian informed Carrington of this in August 2014. In January 2017, Carrington filed an FCRA lawsuit against Santander, insisting the information was inaccurate. The court dismissed the case because the lawsuit was filed after the Statue of Limitations time period.
Two takeaways from this case. If you are a consumer, don’t forget about the Statute of Limitations and file your suits in a timely manner. And as a defendant, the Statute of Limitations, when applicable, is a pretty easy way to receive an early dismissal of an FCRA lawsuit.