Meet the Credit Expert

John Ulzheimer

John Ulzheimer is the President of The Ulzheimer Group, LLC, and founder of CreditExpertWitness.com. He is a nationally recognized expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. In addition to his expertise in personal finance and consumer credit, John also serves as an expert witness and legal consultant for clients involved in credit related litigation.

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"Ulzheimer has extensive knowledge concerning the credit industry and has great courtroom demeanor. Ulzheimer is highly recommended to any law firm that needs an expert concerning the FCRA, FDCPA, credit reports, credit scores, credit damages, and reasonableness of procedures for credit related disputes and reinvestigations."

Cory Rooney, Owner/Attorney

Law Firm of Cory J. Rooney, PC

"John has an incredible understanding of credit reporting, credit scoring and credit bureau practices and standards. If you're looking for an expert in consumer credit John comes highly recommended by my office. His knowledge of credit reporting and payment history patterns helped to identify grossly incorrect opinions proffered by a Defendant's expert witness."

Jeff Badgley, Principal

Badgley Law Group

The Role of a FCRA Expert Witness

Over the past decade the volume of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lawsuits has increased and remained steadily voluminous. FCRA lawsuits almost always involve a consumer Plaintiff suing a credit industry player. The credit industry player or players are also almost always banks, credit card issuers, credit reporting agencies, and debt collectors. And in many of those FCRA lawsuits the Plaintiff, Defendant or both engage the services of an FCRA expert witness.

FCRA lawsuits, at least the ones with which I’ve been involved, generally include an allegation of incorrect credit reporting, credit report and credit score damages, impermissible access of credit reports, or the failure to maintain reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of credit reports. It’s not uncommon for Plaintiff’s FCRA experts to opine that a “furnisher” of information to a credit bureau 1) reported incorrect information and 2) failed to perform a reasonable investigation when the item was disputed and 3) because of the failure to perform a reasonable investigation the Plaintiff was damaged.

It’s also not uncommon for a Defense FCRA expert to be retained for the purpose of reviewing a Plaintiff’s expert’s report and offer rebuttal opinions. That’s generally their scope of work. The process an FCRA expert witness follows is generally defined by the court’s scheduling order and Rule 26. Practically speaking, FCRA experts are usually asked to review documents including pleadings and discovery and then craft an expert report which contains their opinions and the basis for those opinions. Defense FCRA expert witnesses normally have 30 days to respond to a Plaintiff’s FCRA expert.

After both sides have submitted their expert’s reports the next step normally means depositions. Depositions are under-oath testimony of FCRA experts taken by both sides and this is their one chance to get a better understanding of the opinions of the other side’s expert witnesses. Once the depositions are done each side has the opportunity to review the transcript and make any corrections, if necessary.

In my 300+ FCRA expert witness retentions I’ve seen the inside of a courtroom 15 times. The overwhelming majority of FCRA lawsuits settle or are disposed of via other means, like summary judgment. From my discussions with lawyers this isn’t uncommon relative to other types of litigation.