Identity Theft and the Fair Credit Reporting Act: An Analysis of TRW v. Andrews and Current Legislation [Updated February 27, 2003] [open pdf - 36KB]
One of the ways in which victims of identity theft may recover for financial harm is by filing suit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, the Act imposes a two year statute of limitations on suits filed. On November 13, 2001, the Supreme Court decided a case interpreting when the Act's statute of limitations begins to run. In that case, the Court held that the statute of limitations begins to run when inaccurate disclosures first occur, and not when the consumer learns of the inaccuracies in his report. Several pieces of legislation attempting to provide consumers with additional time to file suit have been introduced in response to the Court's decision. This report will provide a brief summary of the Fair Credit Reporting Act provisions in question, as well as an analysis of the recent Supreme Court decision and an overview of recent legislation (S. 22 and H.R. 818) introduced in response to that decision. This report will be updated as events warrant.
CRS Report for Congress, RS21083