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Fair Credit Reporting Act • You must be told if information in your file has been used against you • You can find out what is in your file • You can dispute inaccurate information with the Credit Reporting Agency • Inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted. – However, the CRA is not required to remove accurate data from your file unless it is outdated (as described below) or cannot be verified. • You can dispute inaccurate items with the source of the information • Outdated information may not be reported (7 years for derogatory information, 10 years for bankruptcy) • Access to your file is limited – Only to people with a need recognized by the FCRA— usually to consider an application with a creditor, insurer, employer, landlord or other business • Your consent is required for reports that are provided to employers, or reports that contain medical information • You may choose to exclude your name from CRA lists for unsolicited credit and insurance offers. • You may seek damages from violators Changes to the FCRA made in 2003 • One Call Fraud Alerts (credit bureau called has to alert the other bureaus) – Any consumer can request a fraud alert for 90 days or an extended alert for 7 years • Alert must be included with a credit report and with the delivery of the credit score • Users of reports and scores cannot issue new credit line or extension of credit or higher credit limit unless call the consumer to verify. • Trade Line Blocking—block trade lines when consumer provides an identity theft report that has been filed with law enforcement • Business records disclosure—if have police report, ID theft victim can get copies of reports from businesses where a thief opened an account to help clear their names • Red Flag Guidelines for new accounts and change of address verification • Credit card number truncation on consumer reports • Social security number truncation • Prohibits sale or collection of ID theft debts • Debt collector notice requirement – third party debt collectors • Prevention of repollution—creditors must have policies to prevent refurnishing information arising from ID theft • Annual free credit reports within 15 days of request • Reinvestigations—CRA have 45 days to reinvestigate disputed items resulting from free credit report request • Credit Bureaus must provide credit scores • Mortgage lenders must provide credit scores • Notification of address discrepancy • One-time written notification by financial institution to consumer that negative information will be sent to credit bureau • Disposal of consumer information and records containing consumer information • Medical information in a consumer report must be coded to obscure specific health care provider and the nature of medical services provided • Statute of limitations extended—can sue up to two years following discovery or five years following date of violation, whichever is earlier • Requires that users of credit reports have a “permissible purpose” to obtain them and CRAs should maintain security and integrity of consumer files and allows consumers to limit certain uses of their reports • Stronger opt-out for prescreening based on credit report information –prescreened offers must have phone number to opt out of such offers in easy to understand format • Established a financial literacy education commission Red Flag Rules • Delayed several times; most recent delay expired Jan 2011 • Anti-fraud regulation requiring creditors and financial institutions to identify, detect and respond to warning signs that could indicate ID theft • Process to detect – Discrepancies in address history – Fraud alerts on credit reports – Suspicious use of SSNs – Inactive accounts that suddenly become active – Credit-freeze notifications – Credit reports with suspicious activity patterns – Notices from ID theft victims or law enforcement Red Flag Program Clarification Act • Effective December 2010 • Specified that the rules would apply to institutions that are involved in credit transactions as a part of their business; this eliminated such entities as health care providers, etc. who provide service and then are paid later.
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