Omission in FACTA Might Be Windfall for Plaintiff's Bar

By Theodore H. Frank
October 02, 2007
In 2003, Congress passed the Fair Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), with the goal of preventing identity theft. The Act restricts information that can be printed on electronically-generated credit-card receipts: “no person that accepts credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of the sale or transaction.” “Willful” violation of FACTA entitles a plaintiff to recovery between $100 and $1000, plus punitive damages (if the violation was knowing) and attorney’s fees. Unlike many other statutes with statutory damages, there is no cap on total recovery under FACTA. Thus, in a class action, damages for a “willful” violation could be in the hundreds of millions....