Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)

Federal and state fair credit reporting statutes promote the accuracy and privacy of information kept and distributed by the nation’s consumer reporting companies by defining how information must be recorded, verified and safeguarded. These requirements are critical as the accuracy of your credit report can affect whether you qualify for a loan and at what interest rate, and the privacy of your information guards against identity theft, a very serious problem today that can ultimately affect your ability to get credit, insurance, or even a job. Credit reporting violations include where your credit report contains information that is inaccurate or incomplete, disputed or outdated. Violations of these statutes require compensation to you for the damages suffered, plus an additional amount up to $1,000 per violation, plus punitive damages, attorney fees and court costs, and often more importantly, allow you to correct and protect your credit report in the future.

If you think you are a victim of unfair credit reporting practices, call 888-595-9111 to submit your information. Your inquiry will be personally reviewed by an experienced attorney and you will be quickly contacted with an opinion of your situation.

§ 601 Short title
§ 602 Congressional findings and statement of purpose
§ 603 Definitions; rules of construction
§ 604 Permissible purposes of consumer reports
§ 605A Identity theft prevention; fraud alerts and active duty alerts
§ 605B Block of information resulting from identity theft
§ 605 Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports
§ 606 Disclosure of investigative consumer reports
§ 607 Compliance procedures
§ 608 Disclosures to governmental agencies
§ 609 Disclosures to consumers
§ 610 Conditions and form of disclosure to consumers
§ 611 Procedure in case of disputed accuracy
§ 612 Charges for certain disclosures
§ 613 Public record information for employment purposes
§ 614 Restrictions on investigative consumer reports
§ 615 Requirements on users of consumer reports
§ 616 Civil liability for willful noncompliance
§ 617 Civil liability for negligent noncompliance
§ 618 Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions
§ 619 Obtaining information under false pretenses
§ 620 Unauthorized disclosures by officers or employees
§ 621 Administrative enforcement
§ 622 Information on overdue child support obligations
§ 623 Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies
§ 624 Affiliate sharing
§ 625 Relation to state laws
§ 626 Disclosures to FBI for counterintelligence purposes
§ 627 Disclosures to governmental agencies for counterterrorism purposes
§ 628 Disposal of records
§ 629 Corporate and technological circumvention prohibited

15 U.S.C. § 1681

(As amended by Public Law 104-208, Sept. 30, 1996)

Short title

This title may be cited as the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681. Congressional findings and statement of purpose

(a) Accuracy and fairness of credit reporting

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) The banking system is dependent upon fair and
accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate credit reports directly impair the
efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit reporting methods
undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued
functioning of the banking system.

(2) An elaborate mechanism has been developed for
investigating and evaluating the credit worthiness, credit standing,
credit capacity, character, and general reputation of consumers.

(3) Consumer reporting agencies have assumed a vital role
in assembling and evaluating consumer credit and other information on
consumers.

(4) There is a need to insure that consumer reporting
agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness,
impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.

(b) Reasonable procedures

It is the purpose of this title to require that consumer reporting
agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce
for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a
manner which is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the
confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such
information in accordance with the requirements of this title.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681a. Definitions; rules of construction

(a) Definitions and rules of construction set forth in this section are applicable for the purposes of this title.

(b) the term “person” means any individual, partnership,
corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or
governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.

(c) The term “consumer” means an individual.

(d) Consumer report

(1) In general. The term “consumer report” means any written,
oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting
agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing,
credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal
characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used
or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor
in establishing the consumer’s eligibility for

(A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;

(B) employment purposes; or

(C) any other purpose authorized under §1681b.

(2) Exclusions. The term “consumer report” does not include

(A) any

(i) report containing information solely as to
transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making
the report;

(ii) communication of that information among persons related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control; or

(iii) communication of other information among persons
related by common ownership or affiliated by corporate control, if it is
clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer that the
information may be communicated among such persons and the consumer is
given the opportunity, before the time that the information is initially
communicated, to direct that such information not be communicated among
such persons;

(B) any authorization or approval of a specific extension of
credit directly or indirectly by the issuer of a credit card or similar
device;

(C) any report in which a person who has been requested by a
third party to make a specific extension of credit directly or
indirectly to a consumer conveys his or her decision with respect to
such request, if the third party advises the consumer of the name and
address of the person to whom the request was made, and such person
makes the disclosures to the consumer required under §1681m of this
title; or

(D) a communication described in subsection (o) of this section.

(e) The term “investigative consumer report” means a consumer
report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s
character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of
living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends,
or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is
acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of
information. However, such information shall not include specific
factual information on a consumer’s credit record obtained directly from
a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when
such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer
or from the consumer.

(f) The term “consumer reporting agency” means any person which,
for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly
engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating
consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the
purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses
any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of
preparing or furnishing consumer reports.

(g) The term “file,” when used in connection with information on
any consumer, means all of the information on that consumer recorded and
retained by a consumer reporting agency regardless of how the
information is stored.

(h) The term “employment purposes” when used in connection with a
consumer report means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a
consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment or retention as an
employee.

(i) The term “medical information” means information or records
obtained, with the consent of the individual to whom it relates, from
licensed physicians or medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, or
other medical or medically related facilities.

(j) Definitions relating to child support obligations.

(1) Overdue support. The term “overdue support” has the meaning
given to such term in section 666(e) of title 42 [Social Security Act,
42 U.S.C. § 666(e)].

(2) State or local child support enforcement agency. The term
“State or local child support enforcement agency” means a State or local
agency which administers a State or local program for establishing and
enforcing child support obligations.

(k) Adverse action.

(1) Actions included. The term “adverse action”

(A) has the same meaning as in section 1691(d)(6) of this title; and

(B) means

(i) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any charge
for, or a reduction or other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms
of coverage or amount of, any insurance, existing or applied for, in
connection with the underwriting of insurance;

(ii) a denial of employment or any other decision for
employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective
employee;

(iii) a denial or cancellation of, an increase in any
charge for, or any other adverse or unfavorable change in the terms of,
any license or benefit described in section 1681b(a)(3)(D) of this
title; and

(iv) an action taken or determination that is

(I) made in connection with an application that was made
by, or a transaction that was initiated by, any consumer, or in
connection with a review of an account under §1681b(a)(3)(F)(ii) of this
title; and

(II) adverse to the interests of the consumer.

(2) Applicable findings, decisions, commentary, and orders. For
purposes of any determination of whether an action is an adverse action
under paragraph (1)(A), all appropriate final findings, decisions,
commentary, and orders issued under section 1691(d)(6) of this title by
the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or any court shall
apply.

(l) Firm offer of credit or insurance. The term “firm offer of
credit or insurance” means any offer of credit or insurance to a
consumer that will be honored if the consumer is determined, based on
information in a consumer report on the consumer, to meet the specific
criteria used to select the consumer for the offer, except that the
offer may be further conditioned on one or more of the following: (1)
The consumer being determined, based on information in the consumer’s
application for the credit or insurance, to meet specific criteria
bearing on credit worthiness or insurability, as applicable, that are
established

(A) before selection of the consumer for the offer; and

(B) for the purpose of determining whether to extend credit or insurance pursuant to the offer.

(2) Verification

(A) that the consumer continues to meet the specific criteria
used to select the consumer for the offer, by using information in a
consumer report on the consumer, information in the consumer’s
application for the credit or insurance, or other information bearing on
the credit worthiness or insurability of the consumer; or

(B) of the information in the consumer’s application for the
credit or insurance, to determine that the consumer meets the specific
criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability.

(3) The consumer furnishing any collateral that is a requirement for the extension of the credit or insurance that was

(A) established before selection of the consumer for the offer of credit or insurance; and

(B) disclosed to the consumer in the offer of credit or insurance.

(m) Credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the
consumer. The term “credit or insurance transaction that is not
initiated by the consumer” does not include the use of a consumer report
by a person with which the consumer has an account or insurance policy,
for purposes of

(1) reviewing the account or insurance policy; or

(2) collecting the account.

(n) State. The term “State” means any State, the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and any territory or possession
of the United States.

(o) Excluded communications. A communication is described in this subsection if it is a communication

(1) that, but for subsection (d)(2)(D) of this section, would be an investigative consumer report;\

(2) that is made to a prospective employer for the purpose of

(A) procuring an employee for the employer; or

(B) procuring an opportunity for a natural person to work for the employer;

(3) that is made by a person who regularly performs such procurement;

(4) that is not used by any person for any purpose other
than a purpose described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (2);
and

(5) with respect to which

(A) the consumer who is the subject of the communication

(i) consents orally or in writing to the nature and scope
of the communication, before the collection of any information for the
purpose of making the communication;

(ii) consents orally or in writing to the making of the
communication to a prospective employer, before the making of the
communication; and

(iii) in the case of consent under clause (i) or (ii)
given orally, is provided written confirmation of that consent by the
person making the communication, not later than 3 business days after
the receipt of the consent by that person;

(B) the person who makes the communication does not, for the
purpose of making the communication, make any inquiry that if made by a
prospective employer of the consumer who is the subject of the
communication would violate any applicable Federal or State equal
employment opportunity law or regulation; and

(C) the person who makes the communication

(i) discloses in writing to the consumer who is the subject
of the communication, not later than 5 business days after receiving
any request from the consumer for such disclosure, the nature and
substance of all information in the consumer’s file at the time of the
request, except that the sources of any information that is acquired
solely for use in making the communication and is actually used for no
other purpose, need not be disclosed other than under appropriate
discovery procedures in any court of competent jurisdiction in which an
action is brought; and

(ii) notifies the consumer who is the subject of the
communication, in writing, of the consumer’s right to request the
information described in clause (i).

(p) Consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files
on consumers on a nationwide basis. The term “consumer reporting agency
that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis”
means a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice
of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose of
furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer’s
credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, each of the
following regarding consumers residing nationwide:

(1) Public record information;

(2) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681b. Permissible purposes of consumer reports

(a) In general. Subject to subsection (c) of this section, any
consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the
following circumstances and no other:

(1) In response to the order of a court having jurisdiction to
issue such an order, or a subpoena issued in connection with proceedings
before a Federal grand jury;

(2) In accordance with the written instructions of the consumer to whom it relates;

(3) To a person which it has reason to believe

(A) intends to use the information in connection with a
credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to
be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or
collection of an account of, the consumer, or

(B) intends to use the information for employment purposes; or

(C) intends to use the information in connection with the underwriting of insurance involving the consumer; or

(D) intends to use the information in connection with a
determination of the consumer’s eligibility for a license or other
benefit granted by a governmental instrumentality required by law to
consider an applicant’s financial responsibility or status; or

(E) intends to use the information, as a potential
investor or servicer, or current insurer, in connection with a valuation
of, or an assessment of the credit or prepayment risks associated with,
an existing credit obligation; or

(F) otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information

(i) in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer; or

(ii) to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account.

(4) In response to a request by the head of a State or local
child support enforcement agency (or a State or local government
official authorized by the head of such an agency), if the person making
the request certifies to the consumer reporting agency that

(A) the consumer report is needed for the purpose of
establishing an individual’s capacity to make child support payments or
determining the appropriate level of such payments;

(B) the paternity of the consumer for the child to
which the obligation relates has been established or acknowledged by the
consumer in accordance with State laws under which the obligation
arises (if required by those laws);

(C) the person has provided at least 10 days prior
notice to the consumer whose report is requested, by certified or
registered mail to the last known address of the consumer, that the
report will be requested; and

(D) the consumer report will be kept confidential,
will be used solely for a purpose described in subparagraph (A), and
will not be used in connection with any other civil, administrative, or
criminal proceeding, or for any other purpose.

(5) To an agency administering a State plan, under Section 654
of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. §654), for use to set an initial
or modified child support award.

(b) Conditions for furnishing and using consumer reports for employment purposes.

(1) Certification from user. A consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report for employment purposes only if

(A) the person who obtains such a report from the agency certifies to the agency that

(i) the person has complied with paragraph (2) with respect
to the consumer report, and the person will comply with paragraph (3)
with respect to the consumer report if paragraph (3) becomes applicable,
and

(ii) information from the consumer report will not be used
in violation of any applicable Federal or State equal employment
opportunity law or regulation; and

(B) the consumer reporting agency provides with the report,
or has previously provided, a summary of the consumer’s rights under
this subchapter as prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission under
§1681g(c)(3) of this title.

(2) Disclosure to the consumer.

(A) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a
person may not procure a consumer report, or cause a consumer report to
be procured, for employment purposes with respect to any consumer,
unless –

(i) a clear and conspicuous disclosure has been made in
writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or
caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the
disclosure, that a consumer report may be obtained for employment
purposes; and

(ii) the consumer has authorized in writing (which
authorization may be made on the document referred to in clause (i)) the
procurement of the report by that person.

(B) Application by mail, telephone, computer, or other
similar means. If a consumer described in subparagraph (C) applies for
employment by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means, at any
time before a consumer report is procured or caused to be procured in
connection with that application –

(i) the person who procures the consumer report on the
consumer for employment purposes shall provide to the consumer, by oral,
written, or electronic means, notice that a consumer report may be
obtained for employment purposes, and a summary of the consumer’s rights
under §1681m(a)(3) of this title; and

(ii) the consumer shall have consented, orally,
in writing, or electronically to the procurement of the report by that
person.

(C) Scope. Subparagraph (B) shall apply to a person procuring
a consumer report on a consumer in connection with the consumer’s
application for employment only if –

(i) the consumer is applying for a position over which the
Secretary of Transportation has the power to establish qualifications
and maximum hours of service pursuant to the provisions of §31502 of
title 49, or a position subject to safety regulation by a State
transportation agency; and

(ii) as of the time at which the person procures the
report or causes the report to be procured the only interaction between
the consumer and the person in connection with that employment
application has been by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar
means.

(3) Conditions on use for adverse actions

(A) In general. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), in
using a consumer report for employment purposes, before taking any
adverse action based in whole or in part on that report, the person
intending to take such adverse action shall provide to the consumer to
whom the report relates –

(i) a copy of the report; and

(ii) a description in writing of the rights of the
consumer under this subchapter, as prescribed by the Federal Trade
Commission under §1681g(c)(3) of this title.

(B) Application by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means.

(i) If a consumer described in subparagraph (C) applies for
employment by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar means, and if
a person who has procured a consumer report on the consumer for
employment purposes takes adverse action on the employment application
based in whole or in part on the report, then the person must provide to
the consumer to whom the report relates, in lieu of the notices
required under subparagraph (A) of this section and under §1681m(a) of
this title, within 3 business days of taking such action, an oral
written or electronic notification –

(I) that adverse action has been taken based in whole or
in part on a consumer report received from a consumer reporting agency;

(II) of the name, address and telephone number
of the consumer reporting agency that furnished the consumer report
(including a toll-free telephone number established by the agency if the
agency compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide
basis);

(III) that the consumer reporting agency did
not make the decision to take the adverse action and is unable to
provide to the consumer the specific reasons why the adverse action was
taken; and

(IV) that the consumer may, upon providing
proper identification, request a free copy of a report and may dispute
with the consumer reporting agency the accuracy or completeness of any
information in a report.

(ii) If, under clause (B)(i)(IV), the consumer requests a
copy of a consumer report from the person who procured the report, then,
within 3 business days of receiving the consumer’s request, together
with proper identification, the person must send or provide to the
consumer a copy of a report and a copy of the consumer’s rights as
prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission under §1681g(c)(3) of this
title.

(C) Scope. Subparagraph (B) shall apply to a person procuring
a consumer report on a consumer in connection with a consumer’s
application for employment only if –

(i) the consumer is applying for a position over which the
Secretary of Transportation has the power to establish qualifications
and maximum hours of service pursuant to the provisions of §31502 of
title 49, or a position subject to safety regulation by a State
transportation agency; and

(ii) as of the time at which the person procures
the report or causes the report to be procured the only interaction
between the consumer and the person in connection with that employment
application has been by mail, telephone, computer, or other similar
means.

(4) Exception for national security investigations

(A) In general. In the case of an agency or department of the
United States Government which seeks to obtain and use a consumer
report for employment purposes, paragraph (3) shall not apply to any
adverse action by such agency or department which is based in part on
such consumer report, if the head of such agency or department makes a
written finding that –

(i) the consumer report is relevant to a national security investigation of such agency or department;

(ii) the investigation is within the jurisdiction of such agency or department;

(iii) there is reason to believe that compliance with paragraph (3) will –

(I) endanger the life or physical safety of any person;

(II) result in flight from prosecution;

(III) result in the destruction of, or tampering with, evidence relevant to the investigation;

(IV) result in the intimidation of a potential witness relevant to the investigation;

(V) result in the compromise of classified information; or

(VI) otherwise seriously jeopardize or unduly delay the investigation or another official proceeding.

(B) Notification of consumer upon conclusion of
investigation. Upon the conclusion of a national security investigation
described in subparagraph (A), or upon the determination that the
exception under subparagraph (A) is no longer required for the reasons
set forth in such subparagraph, the official exercising the authority in
such subparagraph shall provide to the consumer who is the subject of
the consumer report with regard to which such finding was made –

(i) a copy of such consumer report with any classified information redacted as necessary;

(ii) notice of any adverse action which is based, in part, on the consumer report; and

(iii) the identification with reasonable specificity
of the nature of the investigation for which the consumer report was
sought.

(C) Delegation by head of agency or department. For purposes
of subparagraphs (A) and (B), the head of any agency or department of
the United States Government may delegate his or her authorities under
this paragraph to an official of such agency or department who has
personnel security responsibilities and is a member of the Senior
Executive Service or equivalent civilian or military rank.

(D) Report to the Congress. Not later than January 31 of each
year, the head of each agency and department of the United States
Government that exercised authority under this paragraph during the
preceding year shall submit a report to the Congress on the number of
times the department or agency exercised such authority during the year.

(E) Definitions. For purposes of this paragraph, the following definitions shall apply:

(i) Classified information. The term “classified
information” means information that is protected from unauthorized
disclosure under Executive Order No. 12958 or successor orders.

(ii) National security investigation. The term “national
security investigation” means any official inquiry by an agency or
department of the United States Government to determine the eligibility
of a consumer to receive access or continued access to classified
information or to determine whether classified information has been lost
or compromised.

(c) Furnishing reports in connection with credit or insurance transactions that are not initiated by the consumer.

(1) In general. A consumer reporting agency may furnish a
consumer report relating to any consumer pursuant to subparagraph (A) or
(C) of subsection (a)(3) of this section in connection with any credit
or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer only if

(A) the consumer authorizes the agency to provide such report to such person; or

(B) (i) the transaction consists of a firm offer of credit or insurance;

(ii) the consumer reporting agency has complied with subsection (e) of this section; and

(iii) there is not in effect an election by the
consumer, made in accordance with subsection (e) of this section, to
have the consumer’s name and address excluded from lists of names
provided by the agency pursuant to this paragraph.

(2) Limits on information received under paragraph (1)(B). A person may receive pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) only

(A) the name and address of a consumer;

(B) an identifier that is not unique to the consumer
and that is used by the person solely for the purpose of verifying the
identity of the consumer; and

(C) other information pertaining to a consumer that
does not identify the relationship or experience of the consumer with
respect to a particular creditor or other entity.

(3) Information regarding inquiries. Except as provided in
§1681g(a)(5) of this title, a consumer reporting agency shall not
furnish to any person a record of inquiries in connection with a credit
or insurance transaction that is not initiated by a consumer.

(d) Reserved.

(e) Election of consumer to be excluded from lists.

(1) In general. A consumer may elect to have the consumer’s
name and address excluded from any list provided by a consumer reporting
agency under subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section in connection with a
credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer,
by notifying the agency in accordance with paragraph (2) that the
consumer does not consent to any use of a consumer report relating to
the consumer in connection with any credit or insurance transaction that
is not initiated by the consumer.

(2) Manner of notification. A consumer shall notify a consumer reporting agency under paragraph (1)

(A) through the notification system maintained by the agency under paragraph (5); or

(B) by submitting to the agency a signed notice of election form issued by the agency for purposes of this subparagraph.

(3) Response of agency after notification through system. Upon
receipt of notification of the election of a consumer under paragraph
(1) through the notification system maintained by the agency under
paragraph (5), a consumer reporting agency shall

(A) inform the consumer that the election is effective only
for the 2-year period following the election if the consumer does not
submit to the agency a signed notice of election form issued by the
agency for purposes of paragraph (2)(B); and

(B) provide to the consumer a notice of election form,
if requested by the consumer, not later than 5 business days after
receipt of the notification of the election through the system
established under paragraph (5), in the case of a request made at the
time the consumer provides notification through the system.

(4) Effectiveness of election. An election of a consumer under paragraph (1)

(A) shall be effective with respect to a consumer reporting
agency beginning 5 business days after the date on which the consumer
notifies the agency in accordance with paragraph (2);

(B) shall be effective with respect to a consumer reporting agency

(i) subject to subparagraph (C), during the 2-year period
beginning 5 business days after the date on which the consumer notifies
the agency of the election, in the case of an election for which a
consumer notifies the agency only in accordance with paragraph (2)(A);
or

(ii) until the consumer notifies the agency under
subparagraph (C), in the case of an election for which a consumer
notifies the agency in accordance with paragraph (2)(B);

(C) shall not be effective after the date on which the
consumer notifies the agency, through the notification system
established by the agency under paragraph (5), that the election is no
longer effective; and

(D) shall be effective with respect to each affiliate of the agency.

(5) Notification system.

(A) In general. Each consumer reporting agency that, under
subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section, furnishes a consumer report in
connection with a credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated
by a consumer, shall

(i) establish and maintain a notification system, including
a toll-free telephone number, which permits any consumer whose consumer
report is maintained by the agency to notify the agency, with
appropriate identification, of the consumer’s election to have the
consumer’s name and address excluded from any such list of names and
addresses provided by the agency for such a transaction; and

(ii) publish by not later than 365 days after
September 30, 1996, and not less than annually thereafter, in a
publication of general circulation in the area served by the agency

(I) a notification that information in consumer files
maintained by the agency may be used in connection with such
transactions; and

(II) the address and toll-free telephone number
for consumers to use to notify the agency of the consumer’s election
under clause (i).

(B) Establishment and maintenance as compliance.
Establishment and maintenance of a notification system (including a
toll-free telephone number) and publication by a consumer reporting
agency on the agency’s own behalf and on behalf of any of its affiliates
in accordance with this paragraph is deemed to be compliance with this
paragraph by each of those affiliates.

(6) Notification system by agencies that operate nationwide.
Each consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on
consumers on a nationwide basis shall establish and maintain a
notification system for purposes of paragraph (5) jointly with other
such consumer reporting agencies.

(f) Certain use or obtaining of information prohibited. A person
shall not use or obtain a consumer report for any purpose unless

(1) the consumer report is obtained for a purpose for which the
consumer report is authorized to be furnished under this section; and

(2) the purpose is certified in accordance with §1681e
of this title by a prospective user of the report through a general or
specific certification.

(g) Furnishing reports containing medical information. A consumer
reporting agency shall not furnish for employment purposes, or in
connection with a credit or insurance transaction, a consumer report
that contains medical information about a consumer, unless the consumer
consents to the furnishing of the report.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681c. Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports.

(a) Information excluded from consumer reports. Except as
authorized under subsection (b) of this section, no consumer reporting
agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following
items of information:

(1) cases under title 11, or under the Bankruptcy Act that,
from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of
adjudication, as the case may be, antedate the report by more than 10
years;

(2) Civil suits and civil judgments, and records of
arrest that, from date of entry, antedate the report by more than seven
years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired,
whichever is the longer period;

(3) paid tax liens which, from date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years;

(4) accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss which antedate the report by more than seven years; or

(5) any other adverse item of information other than
records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than
seven years.

(b) Exempted cases. The provisions of subsection (a) of this
section are not applicable in the case of any consumer credit report to
be used in connection with

(1) a credit transaction involving, or which may reasonably be expected to involve, a principal amount of $150,000 or more;

(2) the underwriting of life insurance involving, or
which may reasonably be expected to involve, a face amount of $150,000
or more; or

(3) the employment of any individual at an annual salary
which equals, or which may reasonably be expected to equal $75,000, or
more.

(c) Running of reporting period.

(1) In general. The 7-year period referred to in paragraphs (4)
and (6) of subsection (a) of this section shall begin, with respect to
any delinquent account that is placed for collection (internally or by
referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and
loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the
180-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the
delinquency which immediately preceded the collection activity, charge
to profit and loss, or similar action.

(2) Effective date. Paragraph (1) shall apply only to
items of information added to the file of a consumer on or after
September 30, 1996.

(d) Information required to be disclosed. Any consumer reporting
agency that furnishes a consumer report that contains information
regarding any case involving the consumer that arises under title 11,
shall include in the report an identification of the chapter of such
title 11 under which such case arises if provided by the source of the
information. If any case arising or filed under title 11, is withdrawn
by the consumer before a final judgment, the consumer reporting agency
shall include in the report that such case or filing was withdrawn upon
receipt of documentation certifying such withdrawal.

(e) Indication of closure of account by consumer. If a
consumer reporting agency is notified pursuant to §1681s-2(a)(4) of this
title that a credit account of a consumer was voluntarily closed by the
consumer, the agency shall indicate that fact in any consumer report
that includes information related to the account.

(f) Indication of dispute by consumer. If a consumer
reporting agency is notified pursuant to §1681s-2(a)(3) of this title
that information regarding a consumer which was furnished to the agency
is disputed by the consumer, the agency shall indicate that fact in each
consumer report that includes the disputed information.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681d. Disclosure of investigative consumer reports

(a) Disclosure of fact of investigation. A person may not procure
or cause to be prepared an investigative consumer report on any
consumer unless

(1) it is clearly and accurately disclosed to the consumer that
an investigative consumer report including information as to his
character, general reputation, personal characteristics and mode of
living, whichever are applicable, may be made, and such disclosure

(A) is made in a writing mailed, or otherwise delivered, to
the consumer, not later than three days after the date on which the
report was first requested, and

(B) includes a statement informing the consumer of
his right to request the additional disclosures provided for under
subsection (b) of this section and the written summary of the rights of
the consumer prepared pursuant to §1681g(c) of this title; and

(2) the person certifies or has certified to the consumer reporting agency that

(A) the person has made the disclosures to the consumer required by paragraph (1); and

(B) the person will comply with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Disclosure on request of nature and scope of investigation.
Any person who procures or causes to be prepared an investigative
consumer report on any consumer shall, upon written request made by the
consumer within a reasonable period of time after the receipt by him of
the disclosure required by subsection (a)(1) of this section, make a
complete and accurate disclosure of the nature and scope of the
investigation requested. This disclosure shall be made in a writing
mailed, or otherwise delivered, to the consumer not later than five days
after the date on which the request for such disclosure was received
from the consumer or such report was first requested, whichever is
later.

(c) Limitation on liability upon showing of reasonable
procedures for compliance with provisions. No person may be held liable
for any violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section if he shows
by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the violation he
maintained reasonable procedures to assure compliance with subsection
(a) or (b) of this section.

(d) Prohibitions.

(1) Certification. A consumer reporting agency shall not
prepare or furnish an investigative consumer report unless the agency
has received a certification under subsection (a)(2) of this section
from the person who requested the report.

(2) Inquiries. A consumer reporting agency shall not make
an inquiry for the purpose of preparing an investigative consumer
report on a consumer for employment purposes if the making of the
inquiry by an employer or prospective employer of the consumer would
violate any applicable Federal or State equal employment opportunity law
or regulation.

(3) Certain public record information. Except as otherwise
provided in §1681k of this title, a consumer reporting agency shall not
furnish an investigative consumer report that includes information that
is a matter of public record and that relates to an arrest, indictment,
conviction, civil judicial action, tax lien, or outstanding judgment,
unless the agency has verified the accuracy of the information during
the 30-day period ending on the date on which the report is furnished.

(4) Certain adverse information. A consumer reporting
agency shall not prepare or furnish an investigative consumer report on a
consumer that contains information that is adverse to the interest of
the consumer and that is obtained through a personal interview with a
neighbor, friend, or associate of the consumer or with another person
with whom the consumer is acquainted or who has knowledge of such item
of information, unless

(A) the agency has followed reasonable procedures to obtain
confirmation of the information, from an additional source that has
independent and direct knowledge of the information; or

(B) the person interviewed is the best possible source of the information.

1681e. Compliance procedures

(a) Identity and purpose of credit users. Every consumer
reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures designed to avoid
violations of §1681c of this title and to limit the furnishing of
consumer reports to the purposes listed under §1681b of this title.
These procedures shall require that prospective users of the information
identify themselves, certify the purposes for which the information is
sought, and certify that the information will be used for no other
purpose. Every consumer reporting agency shall make a reasonable effort
to verify the identity of a new prospective user and the uses certified
by such prospective user prior to furnishing such user a consumer
report. No consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report to
any person if it has reasonable grounds for believing that the consumer
report will not be used for a purpose listed in §1681b of this title.

(b) Accuracy of report. Whenever a consumer reporting agency
prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to
assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the
individual about whom the report relates.

(c) Disclosure of consumer reports by users allowed. A consumer
reporting agency may not prohibit a user of a consumer report furnished
by the agency on a consumer from disclosing the contents of the report
to the consumer, if adverse action against the consumer has been taken
by the user based in whole or in part on the report.

(d) Notice to users and furnishers of information.

(1) Notice requirement. A consumer reporting agency shall provide to any person

(A) who regularly and in the ordinary course of business furnishes information to the agency with respect to any consumer; or

(B) to whom a consumer report is provided by the agency;

a notice of such person’s responsibilities under this
subchapter. (2) Content of notice. The Federal Trade Commission shall
prescribe the content of notices under paragraph (1), and a consumer
reporting agency shall be in compliance with this subsection if it
provides a notice under paragraph (1) that is substantially similar to
the Federal Trade Commission prescription under this paragraph.

(e) Procurement of consumer report for resale.

(1) Disclosure. A person may not procure a consumer
report for purposes of reselling the report (or any information in the
report) unless the person discloses to the consumer reporting agency
that originally furnishes the report

(A) the identity of the end-user of the report (or information); and

(B) each permissible purpose under §1681b of this title for
which the report is furnished to the end-user of the report (or
information).

(2) Responsibilities of procurers for resale. A person who
procures a consumer report for purposes of reselling the report (or any
information in the report) shall

(A) establish and comply with reasonable procedures designed
to ensure that the report (or information) is resold by the person only
for a purpose for which the report may be furnished under §1681b of this
title, including by requiring that each person to which the report (or
information) is resold and that resells or provides the report (or
information) to any other person

(i) identifies each end user of the resold report (or information);

(ii) certifies each purpose for which the report (or information) will be used; and

(iii) certifies that the report (or information) will be used for no other purpose; and

(B) before reselling the report, make reasonable efforts to
verify the identifications and certifications made under subparagraph
(A).

(3) Resale of consumer report to a Federal agency or department

Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or (2), a person who procures a
consumer report for purposes of reselling the report (or any information
in the report) shall not disclose the identity of the end-user of the
report under paragraph (1) or (2) if

(A) the end user is an agency or department of the United
States Government which procures the report from the person for purposes
of determining the eligibility of the consumer concerned to receive
access or continued access to classified information (as defined in
§1681b(b)(4)(E)(i) of this title); and

(B) the agency or department certifies in writing to the
person reselling the report that nondisclosure is necessary to protect
classified information or the safety of persons employed by or
contracting with, or undergoing investigation for work with the agency
or department.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681f. Disclosures to governmental agencies

Not withstanding the provisions of 1681b of this title, a consumer
reporting agency may furnish identifying information respecting any
consumer, limited to his name, address, former addresses, places of
employment, or former places of employment, to a governmental agency.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681g. Disclosures to consumers

(a) Information on file; sources; report recipients. Every
consumer reporting agency shall, upon request, and subject to
§1681h(a)(1) of this title, clearly and accurately disclose to the
consumer:

(1) All information in the consumer’s file at the time of the
request, except that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to
require a consumer reporting agency to disclose to a consumer any
information concerning credit scores or any other risk scores or
predictors relating to the consumer.

(2) The sources of the information; except that the sources
of information acquired solely for use in preparing an investigative
consumer report and actually used for no other purpose need not be
disclosed. Provided, That in the event an action is brought under this
subchapter, such sources shall be available to the plaintiff under
appropriate discovery procedures in the court in which the action is
brought.

(3)(A) Identification of each person (including each end-user
identified under §1681e(e)(1) of this title) that procured a consumer
report

(i) for employment purposes, during the 2-year period preceding the date on which the request is made; or

(ii) for any other purpose, during the 1-year period preceding the date on which the request is made.

(B) An identification of a person under subparagraph (A) shall include

(i) the name of the person or, if applicable, the trade name (written in full) under which such person conducts business; and

(ii) upon request of the consumer, the address and telephone number of the person.

(C) Subparagraph (A) does not apply if

(i) the end user is an agency or department of the United
States Government that procures the report from the person for purposes
of determining the eligibility of the consumer to whom the report
relates to receive access or continued access to classified information
(as defined in §1681b(b)(4)(E)(i) of this title); and

(ii) the head of the agency or department makes a written finding as prescribed under §1681b(b)(4)(A) of this title.

(4) The dates, original payees, and amounts of any checks upon
which is based any adverse characterization of the consumer, including
in the file at the time of the disclosure.

(5) A record of all inquiries received by the agency during
the 1-year period preceding the request that identified the consumer in
connection with a credit or insurance transaction that was not initiated
by the consumer.

(b) Exempt information. The requirements of subsection (a) of
this section respecting the disclosure of sources of information and the
recipients of consumer reports do not apply to information received or
consumer reports furnished prior to the effective date of this
subchapter except to the extent that the matter involved is contained in
the files of the consumer reporting agency on that date.

(c) Summary of rights to be included with disclosure.

(1) Summary of rights. A consumer reporting agency shall
provide to a consumer, with each written disclosure by the agency to the
consumer under this section

(A) a written summary of all of the rights that the consumer has under this subchapter; and

(B) in the case of a consumer reporting agency that
compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis, a
toll-free telephone number established by the agency, at which personnel
are accessible to consumer during normal business hours.

(2) Specific items required to be included. The summary of rights required under paragraph (1) shall include

(A) a brief description of this subchapter and all rights of consumers under this subchapter;

(B) an explanation of how the consumer may exercise the rights of the consumer under this title;

(C) a list of all Federal agencies responsible for
enforcing any provision of this subchapter and the address and any
appropriate phone number of each such agency, in a form that will assist
the consumer in selecting the appropriate agency;

(D) a statement that the consumer may have additional rights
under State law and that the consumer may wish to contact a State or
local consumer protection agency or a State attorney general to learn of
those rights; and

(E) a statement that a consumer reporting agency is
not required to remove accurate derogatory information from a
consumer’s file, unless the information is outdated under §1681c of this
title or cannot be verified.

(3) Form of summary rights. For purposes of this subsection and
any disclosure by a consumer reporting agency required under this
subchapter with respect to consumers’ rights, the Federal Trade
Commission (after consultation with each Federal agency referred to in
§1681(s) of this title) shall prescribe the form and content of any such
disclosure of the rights of consumers required under this subchapter. A
consumer reporting agency shall be in compliance with this subsection
if it provides disclosures under paragraph (1) that are substantially
similar to the Federal Trade Commission prescription under this
paragraph.

(4) Effectiveness. No disclosure shall be required
under this subsection until the date on which the Federal Trade
Commission prescribes the form and content of such disclosures under
paragraph (3).

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681h. Conditions and form of disclosure to consumers

(a) In general.

(1) Proper identification. A consumer reporting agency shall
require, as a condition of making the disclosures required under §1681g
of this title, that the consumer furnish proper identification.

(2) Disclosure in writing. Except as provided in subsection
(b) of this section, the disclosures required to be made under §1681g of
this title shall be provided under this section in writing.

(b) Other forms of disclosure.

(1) In general. If authorized by a consumer, a consumer
reporting agency may make the disclosures required under §1681g of this
title

(A) other than in writing; and

(B) in such form as may be

(i) specified by the consumer in accordance with paragraph (2); and

(ii) available from the agency.

(2) Form. A consumer may specify pursuant to paragraph (1) that disclosures under §1681g of this title shall be made

(A) in person, upon the appearance of the consumer at the
place of business of the consumer reporting agency where disclosures are
regularly provided, during normal business hours, and on reasonable
notice;

(B) by telephone, if the consumer has made a written request for disclosure by telephone;

(C) by electronic means, if available from the agency; or

(D) by any other reasonable means that is available from the agency.

(c) Trained personnel. Any consumer reporting agency shall
provide trained personnel to explain to the consumer any information
furnished to him pursuant to §1681g of this title.

(d) Persons accompanying consumer. The consumer shall be
permitted to be accompanied by one other person of his choosing, who
shall furnish reasonable identification. A consumer reporting agency may
require the consumer to furnish a written statement granting permission
to the consumer reporting agency to discuss the consumer’s file in such
person’s presence.

(e) Limitation of liability. Except as provided in §§1681n and
1681o of this title, no consumer may bring any action or proceeding in
the nature of defamation, invasion of privacy, or negligence with
respect to the reporting of information against any consumer reporting
agency, any user of information, or any person who furnishes information
to a consumer reporting agency, based on information disclosed pursuant
to §§1681g, 1681h, or 1681m of this title or based on information
disclosed by a user of a consumer report to or for a consumer against
whom the user has taken adverse action, based in whole or in part on the
report, except as to false information furnished with malice or willful
intent to injure such consumer.

Fair Credit Reporting Act 1681i. Procedure in case of disputed accuracy

(a) Investigations of disputed information.

(1) Reinvestigation required.

(A) In general. If the completeness or accuracy of any item
of information contained in a consumer’s file at a consumer reporting
agency is disputed by the consumer and the consumer notifies the agency
directly of such dispute, the agency shall reinve

 

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