News Releases

FCRA Preemption of State Law: A Guide Through Muddy Waters


DALLAS, Texas, February, 15, 2012 -- In the Spring issue of the Journal of Commerce and Commercial Law, Baker Botts Partner Chad Pinson and Associate John Lawrence discuss issues with Fair Credit Reporting Act [FCRA] preemption, highlighting the most unsettled preemption issues under the statute.

A review of these issues reveals a judicial need to more broadly construe and thoroughly enforce the FCRA’s preemption provisions to provide for more certain outcomes by credit market participants, create more efficient interstate credit markets, and provide more credit opportunities for consumers.

It is vital that we have a national credit reporting system, Pinson and Lawrence state in the article. Creditors need to be able to make credit decisions quickly – and often at a distance – with confidence that those decisions are grounded in correct information about the consumer.

Nationwide uniformity in interpretation is key to the functioning of the FCRA. Without it, reporting agencies and information furnishers have no clear guidance in administering the reporting system, and consumers have no clear guidance in seeking recourse against unlawful practices.

The Journal article discusses each of the three principal FRCA preemption provisions, examining their function and the interplay between them. As is apparent from the statute and the case law, interpreting the FCRA’s provisions fairly and properly results in a broad and comprehensive preemption scheme, which in turn leads to a more effective FCRA.

The complete Journal of Commerce and Commercial Law article by Pinson and Lawrence is available here.

Background on the Complex Business Litigation practice at Baker Botts is available here.

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