3 credit free in one report by andrewa


									Federal Free Credit Report Law
Congress approved a law that will allow each individual a free credit report from
each of the three credit reporting agencies (CRA) every 12 months. However, if a
person is denied credit, finds errors in their credit reports, or is a suspected victim
of identity theft, they are still allowed a free credit report in addition to this new

In June 2004, the Federal Trade Commission announced the final rule, which
provides for a gradual, structured roll-out of the centralized source of these
reports. The centralized source will become available in cumulative stages, over
a period of nine months, rolling-out from west to east beginning December 1,
2004. The entire transition will be complete by Sept. 1, 2005. Consumers will
become eligible on the following schedule:
          Western states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho,
          Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and
          Wyoming) will become eligible on December 1, 2004;
          Midwestern states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan,
          Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota,
          and Wisconsin) will become eligible on March 1, 2005;
          Southern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
          Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
          Texas ) will become eligible on June 1, 2005;
          Eastern states (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine,
          Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
          North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and
          West Virginia), Puerto Rico, and all U.S. territories will become eligible
          on September 1, 2005.

The roll-out of the centralized source is cumulative, so once a consumer
becomes eligible to obtain a free report, they stay eligible and may request their
report at any time, as long as it is not more often than once in any 12-month
period. For example, Californians become eligible on Dec. 1 2004. A California
consumer can choose to wait to obtain their report until the following June or
even later, but once they get their free report, they can't get another from the
same CRA for 12 months.

Since an individual is not required to order all three credit reports at the same
time, unless they are a victim of identity theft, Identity Theft Resource Center
(ITRC) and other consumer groups are recommending that an individual stagger
the free report orders, which in doing so, creates a free regular monitoring
service for themselves.

Example--If you live in California order a report from credit reporting agency
(CRA) #1 in January, a report from CRA #2 in April, and a report from CRA #3 in
September or October. Since you must wait 12 months you can then order a
report from agency #1 again in January. Should you ever find any problems with
a report, such as an account you never opened, you automatically qualify as a
potential identity theft victim and may get the other two reports immediately.

Currently, if you live in one of the following states, you are already entitled to
receive a free credit report by mail: Colorado, Georgia (2 per year), Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Vermont. If you currently reside in
one of these states, you may order your free credit report by calling 1-800-685-
1111. All other states are required to pay the $9.00 fee with the exception of
Connecticut - $5, Minnesota - $3; California - $8, and Montana - $8.50.

Additionally, if you meet one of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA of 1970)
requirements below, you are entitled to one free credit report via U.S. mail:

   •   Persons that are unemployed and intend to apply for employment within
       60 days.
   •   Persons receiving public welfare assistance.
   •   Persons who believe their consumer file contains inaccurate information
       due to fraud.
   •   Persons that have been the subject of adverse action, such as denial of
       credit or insurance, within the past 60 days.

When ordering a credit report my mail, include your full name, Social Security
number, current and previous addresses for the past five years, date of birth,
signature, and phone number.

While the CRAs are not yet providing Spanish telephone service, the FTC is
working to add that capability to their website to help Spanish-speaking
individuals order reports. General information on identity theft is available in
Spanish at: http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft/espanol.html.

If you have any questions about the new federal free credit report program,
contact ITRC at itrc@idtheftcenter.org (858-693-7935) or the FTC at www.ftc.gov

If you are in California, you may also contact the Office of Privacy Protection-
www.privacy.ca.gov for any updates. They also have information about the
California credit freeze laws at www.privacy.ca.gov/financial/cfreeze.htm. Other
states may also have information posted through the state Attorney General or
Consumer Protection Agency websites.

For more information on the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003
(FACTA), visit: www.consumerlaw.org/initiatives/facta/nclc_analysis.shtml.

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