Speciality Credit Reporting Agencies Need to Comply with Fair Credit Reporting Act

When we hear the term credit reporting agency, we think of Piggy _bankTrans Union, Equifax and Experian, and the
reporting of our payment histories.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act
provides consumers a number of rights when it comes to dealing with
a credit reporting agency.  We enjoy rights such as the right
to obtain a copy of our credit report for free once every year, the
right to a free credit report when we are denied a credit
opportunity, the right to privacy in the report so that nobody can
access it without a legally enumerated purpose, and the right to
have inaccurate information investigated and corrected. 

However, credit reporting is not just limited to those three
main bureaus, Trans Union, Equifax and Experian, and our credit
histories.  Background checks performed by potential employers
are also reports that are covered under the FCRA.  The FCRA covers all
“consumer reports” and the term “consumer report” is defined
as any 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 for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the
consumer’s eligibility for credit, insurance or employment
purposes.  Therefore, background checks for employment or
tenant leasing are covered.

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
released a bulletin to all nationwide specialty consumer reporting
agencies reminding them of their obligations under the
FCRA.   Richard Corday, the CFPB Director, stated in a
press release, “Nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies
can have great influence over a consumer’s tenancy, insurance
premiums, or even employment. Today, the CFPB is reminding these
companies that they must follow the law and provide consumers with
easy access to their free annual report. If we have reason to
believe that companies are not following the law, we will take
action.”   The bulletin warns that these companies are
responsible for streamlining the process of allowing consumers to
obtain their reports, and cautions those that have not set up a
process that complies to take immediate steps to do so. 

The CFPB bulletin presents further clarity on how these
companies will be treated when it comes to Fair Credit Reporting
Act Compliance.  These companies will be treated no
differently than the 3 main credit bureaus, and will have to
provide disclosures to consumers on a yearly basis. 

SmithMarco, P.C. has been protecting
consumer rights since 2005 and handles Fair Credit Reporting Act
cases. If information about you is inaccurately being reported, or
if you feel that you’re rights have been violated, please contact
us for a free case review.