Laws you need to know

Through legislation, the government has provided credit protection for all consumers. There are several consumer credit laws that all consumers should understand, especially if you have any issues with your credit report, or have been denied credit.

Truth In Lending Act

The Truth In Lending Act requires creditors to provide the consumer with accurate and complete credit costs and terms.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

The ECOA prohibits a creditor from discriminating against a consumer on the basis of age, sex, or marital status, reliance on income from a public assistance program, and race, color, religion, or national origin.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act is to ensure that information contained in a credit report is accurate and that it will be used in a confidential manner. Consumers have a right to dispute information that may be derogatory or erroneous, inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted, and a consumer explanation statement of 100 words or less can also be included in the report. A credit bureau must also delete adverse information that is more than seven years old and information on bankruptcy that is more than ten years old.

Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act)

The FACT Act was signed into law at the end of 2003. This act amends the FCRA and gives every consumer the right to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. To get your free credit reports, visit or call 877-322-8228.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act establishes rules related to the collection of a debt. For example, under the FDCPA, a third party collector is prohibited from:

  • Using abusive language to coerce a consumer into making payments.
  • Calling at unreasonable hours (before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.) or making excessive calls.
  • Threatening to notify the employer or friends that the consumer has not paid his bills.
  • Using false pretenses to gain entry to the home with the intent to identify or take something of value.
  • Attempting to collect more than what is owed.
  • Sending the consumer misleading letters that may appear to be from a government agency or a court of law.

Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)

The FCBA and the EFTA can help consumers resolve mistakes on credit billing and electronic fund transfer account statements. The acts outline procedures for correcting several types of errors including unauthorized charges and the failure to properly reflect payments.


A legal proceeding declaring that a consumer overextended and is unable to pay obligations. Some loans may be excused and assets may be distributed among the creditors. There are two main types of bankruptcy available to individuals:

  • Chapter 7 – A type of bankruptcy that is designed for debtors in financial difficulty who do not have the ability to pay their existing debts. The purpose is to obtain a discharge (i.e. elimination) of their existing debts.
  • Chapter 13 – Intended for individuals with regular income who are temporarily unable to pay their debts but would like to pay them in installments over a period of time. The bankruptcy courts will approve a repayment plan that will repay their debts in no more than five years.
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Candid GuideStar Gold Transparency level 2022 Candid
    MMI has achieved a Gold Seal of Transparency by Candid (formerly GuideStar), a leading source for insights on thousands of nonprofit organizations. For decades, Candid has provided data that powers hundreds of websites, programs, and applications related to philanthropic giving in order to help grantors make informed decisions.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.