State Specific Requirements
Alabama has the “Alabama Consumer Credit Act”. This law, however, does not address credit reporting or background reporting, and leaves that to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. It covers requirements to become a lender and sets parameters for lending institutions to operate within the state. Mostly deals with licensing requirements for lending and financial institutions. Consumers in Alabama should look to the Fair Credit Reporting Act for their rights regarding information contained in consumer reports.
Alaska has the Alaska Personal Information Act (AS 45.48). This law provides for (1) a notice requirement when a breach of security concerning personal information has occurred; (2) the ability to place a security freeze on a consumer credit report; (3) various restrictions on the use of personal information and credit information; (4) the disposal of records containing personal information; (5) allowing a victim of identity theft to petition the court for a determination of factual innocence; and (6) truncation of credit card information.
Also, Alaska has AS 12.62.160 which provides that criminal justice information can be provided for any purpose, but such information cannot be released if it is non-conviction. However, this law was enacted in 2014, and therefore we are of the opinion that the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act nullifies this law.
Arizona’s §44-1691, et seq. covers virtually everything the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act covers, such as who may see the report (44-1692) the consumer’s right to see the report (44-1693); the FCRA dispute process (44-1694); and, provides for liability for failing to remove a security freeze on a credit report (44-1695). In fact, the AZ laws closely mirror the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, the laws were created in 1995, and therefore we are of the opinion that the Fair Credit Reporting Act nullifies this statute.
The state of Arkansas has Arkansas Code 23-67-405 – The Use of Credit Information. This law provides that it is unlawful for an insurance company doing business in Arkansas to use a credit score that is calculated using income, gender, address, zip code, ethnic group, religion, marital status, or nationality of the consumer as a factor; provides that an insurer cannot deny, cancel or refuse to renew a policy; or based renewal rates, solely on the bases of credit information. Section 406 of this same Act provides for a dispute resolution and error correction procedure. However, this latter portion providing for a dispute resolution procedure conflicts with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and therefore would not be of any use. Consumers in Arkansas should still look to the FCRA for protection.
California has a number of laws that protect consumers, and probably the biggest catalogue of consumer protection laws in the country.
There is the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CA Civil Code 1785.13.6) which deals with records of arrest and indictment and they must be removed after 7 years, but when it is determined that no conviction resulted or there was a pardon, the item must be removed. Also, §1785.20.5 deals with providing consumer reports for employment purposes and provides requirements for the potential employer to give notices to the consumer. However, the laws were created in 2003 and therefore we are of the opinion that the Fair Credit Reporting Act nullifies these statutes.
CRS 12-14-3-105.3(1)e provides that no credit reporting agency shall report an arrest or conviction beyond 7 years unless the job sought pays in excess of $75,000. This law was enacted January 1, 1996 and we are of the opinion that it is therefore effective.
Colorado also has the Employment Opportunity Act (8-2-126) which provides that employers may not request a prospective or current employee’s credit report, or use consumer credit information for employment purposes, unless: (1) the credit information is “substantially related” to the employee’s current or potential job, or (2) the person being evaluated or the employer are exempt from the law. The law does NOT apply to banks and financial institutions, State or local law enforcement agencies, employers of private domestic servants or farm or ranch labor, and employers who employ less than 4 people.
Connecticut Public Act 11-23 generally prohibits employers from using credit reports in making employment decisions regarding existing employees or applicants. The law, effective on October 1, 2011, applies to all employers in Connecticut that have at least one employee. The law has exceptions. Financial institutions may consider credit reports and if credit and creditworthiness are substantially related to the position, a report may be obtained.
Connecticut also has a law that protects consumers who are about to be denied credit based upon their credit report. Section 36a-696 provides that No creditor shall take adverse action based wholly or in part on a credit report on any consumer applying to such creditor for credit for personal, family or household purposes without first disclosing to the consumer the name and address of the credit rating agency which issued the report; and upon written request, a credit rating agency shall disclose to the consumer, within five business days of receipt of the consumer’s request, the nature and substance of all information in its files, including any credit score or predictor.
Delaware has enacted the Clean Credit and Identity Theft Protection Act. This law provides for the right of a consumer to place a security freeze on their credit report, and allows for the freeze to be temporarily lifted so that the consumer can still use their credit. Delaware has no other statutes that relate directly to consumer report information. Consumers in Delaware should look to their rights under the federal laws.
Georgia Fair Business Practices Act (Part 2 of Article 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 10 ) provides that a consumer reporting agency which furnishes a consumer report for employment purposes and which for that purpose compiles and reports items of information on consumers which are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment shall: (1) At the time such public record information is reported to the user of such consumer report, notify the consumer of the fact that public record information is being reported by the consumer reporting agency, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information is being reported; or (2) Maintain strict procedures designed to ensure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported it is complete and up to date.
GA code 35-3-34(3) (b) In the event that an employment decision is made adverse to a person whose (criminal) record was obtained pursuant to this Code section, the person will be informed by the business or person making the adverse employment decision of all information pertinent to that decision. This disclosure shall include information that a record was obtained from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation center, the specific contents of the record, and the effect the record had upon the decision. Failure to provide all such information to the person subject to the adverse decision shall be a misdemeanor.
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GA criminal record researched is flagged and if a criminal record is developed, our office will provide a copy of our report, the record that was found and a copy of the Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA.
GA residents are flagged to inform clients of additional adverse action processes if employment is denied as a result of the background check.
Florida has a protecting law that provides for the rights to place a security freeze on a consumer report (501.005). Florida also has Section 626.9741 which applies to the use of credit reports and scores by insurers. This section provides that an insurer must inform an applicant or insured, in the same medium as the application is taken, that a credit report or score is being requested for underwriting or rating purposes. An insurer that makes an adverse decision based, in whole or in part, upon a credit report must provide at no charge, a copy of the credit report to the applicant or insured or provide the applicant or insured with the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency from which the insured or applicant may obtain the credit report. The insurer must provide notification to the consumer explaining the reasons for the adverse decision. This law also provides that an insurer may not request a credit report or score based upon the race, color, religion, marital status, age, gender, income, national origin, or place of residence of the applicant or insure; and an insurer may not make an adverse decision solely because of information contained in a credit report or score without consideration of any other underwriting or rating factor.
Hawaii has not enacted any state laws that pertain simply to credit information. However, Hawaii Revised Statutes 2003 §378-2.5 provides that a potential employer may inquire and consider a conviction record provided the conviction bears a relationship to the position sought and the responsibilities of that position.
The state of Idaho has enacted the Credit Report Protection Act, §28-52-101, et seq. Not to get too excited for the protections afforded by this statute, as the law merely provides for the rights to place and then remove a security freeze. The law also provides mandates for the costs that can be charged for the placement of the freeze.
Illinois has enacted a few statutes that can protect a consumer from damaging information appearing on a credit or background report. The Employee Credit Privacy Act (820 ILCS 70/5) generally prohibits employers from making an employment decision based upon a credit report; prohibits employers from obtaining a credit report or asking the potential employee about their credit history. This Act does not apply to banks, financial institutions, law enforcement, a surety business, or a debt collector.
Illinois also has enacted 815 ILCS 505/2S as part of its consumer protection scheme. This section of the Deceptive Business Practices Act provides that no person may report adverse information to a consumer reporting agency, provide information to a collection agency or take any collection action regarding a cosigner of an obligation unless prior thereto, such person has notified the cosigner by first class mail that the primary obligor has become delinquent or defaulted on the loan, that the cosigner is responsible for the payment of the obligation and that the cosigner must, within 15 days from the date such notice was sent, either pay the amount due under the obligation or make arrangements for payment of the obligation.
Indiana has enacted a law in 2012 (IC 16-27-2) that provides limits on the type on information that can be reported in a background check. An infraction or arrest that did not result in a conviction, an expunged record, or traffic citations may not be reported on a background check. However, as this law has been enacted in 2012, it is a nullity next to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. While typically traffic citations do not get reported on background or credit reports, there are reports that would report this information – if a person was looking for a job as a driver. Under the FRCA, mere arrests that do NOT result in convictions may be reported for up to 7 years from the date of arrest.
Iowa has enacted the use of Credit Information – Personal Insurance laws (515.103). This law provides that an insurer in Iowa may not Use an insurance score that is calculated using income, gender, address, zip code, ethnic group, religion, marital status, race, or nationality of a consumer as a factor. Also may not deny issuance, cancel, or refuse to renew a policy of personal insurance solely on the basis of credit information, without consideration of any other applicable underwriting factors independent of credit information. Also they may not base a consumer’s renewal rates for personal insurance solely on the basis of credit information, without consideration of any other applicable underwriting factors independent of credit information.
Chapter 50, Article 7 (KS 50-704) provides that no credit reporting agency shall report an arrest or conviction beyond 7 years unless the job sought pays in excess of $75,000. This law was enacted in 1974 and is therefore effective. Kansas also has a statute regarding security freezes and the rights of consumers to obtain and control a security freeze on their credit file.
KRS Chapter 367.00 §310 provides that a credit reporting agency cannot maintain information relating to a criminal charge within the state unless it resulted in a conviction. This law was enacted in 1980 and is therefore effective. There is no statute in Kentucky that deals directly with credit information, credit reports, and the rights of consumers to dispute inaccuracies. Consumers in Kentucky should look to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for assistance in this regard.
The state of Louisiana has no laws governing credit reporting or background reporting. However, as there appeared to be rampant deception among companies that offer credit repair assistance, there is a state law dedicated to regulating credit repair organizations within the state. The law is referred to as the Credit Repair Services Organizations Act. This law governs companies that solicit consumers to help clean up their credit reports. Laws were enacted to make sure consumers are not getting ripped off by false promises to get a better score, and paying money for a service they are not getting.
Up until the Summer of 2013, Maine had its own Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, as it ran into conflicts with federal law, it was repealed and a new statute was created. The new state law follows the federal law closely, and therefore, citizens of Maine should still look to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for protection. However, the Maine law has maintained some protections for its own citizens. For instance, the current law provides for the placement of security freezes on credit reports, provides a provision on the reporting of child support debts, and contains requirements for the solicitation of prescreened loans. However, the statute does not provide for private enforcement by the citizens, meaning again that those finding issues with their credit reports should still be looking to the Fair Credit Reporting Act for personal remedies.
Code of Maryland (COMAR) §14-203(5) provides that no CRA shall report an arrest or conviction beyond 7 years unless the job sought pays in excess of $20,000. This law was enacted in 1976 and is therefore effective.
Maryland has also enacted COMAR §09.03.07.04. This law provides operational requirements for any consumer reporting agencies operating within the state. The requirements largely mirror the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The law provides for the requirement to perform an investigation into a consumer’s complaints of inaccuracy and provides a requirement that the dispute be resolved within 30 days. The law also provides for relief from the consumer reporting agencies if they are faced with frivolous disputes or repetitive disputes that have been resolved. These sections are already covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and therefore would trump the Maryland law.
Massachusetts has enacted laws that can protect its consumers. MGL Ch. 93 §52 provides that no consumer reporting bureau shall report an arrest or conviction beyond 7 years unless the job sought pays in excess of $20,000. This law was enacted in 1974 and is therefore effective. MGL Ch 93 §59 provides for the rights of consumers who wish to dispute errors in their credit reports. However, this statute provides nothing new from the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and actually almost completely mirrors the federal law. The law also provides for the ability to obtain consumer reports in the same fashion as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Thus, when it comes to disputing errors on a report, Massachusetts consumers should look to the federal law for help.
The state of Michigan has not enacted laws governing credit reporting that would help consumers. It has enacted some laws that pertain to employment background check information. Michigan Compiled Laws Act 453 of 1976, 37.2205a(1) provides that an employer shall not maintain a record of arrest of a misdemeanor where a conviction did not result. As this law was enacted in 1976, it would still be beneficial to consumers.
Also, as there appeared to be rampant deception among companies that offer credit repair assistance, there is a state law dedicated to regulating credit repair organizations within the state. The law is referred to as the Credit Services Organizations Act and is found at MCL 445.1822.
As it pertains to information that may appear on an employment background check, Minnesota Statutes 2003 13C.02 provides that disclosure must be provided to the consumer in writing if an employer intends on using a consumer report, and the disclosure must provide an option for the consumer to receive a copy of the report as well.
Minnesota 13C.02 A person may not obtain or cause to be prepared a consumer report on a consumer for employment purposes unless the person clearly and accurately discloses to the consumer that a consumer report may be obtained or caused to be prepared. The disclosure must inform the consumer of the right to request additional information on the nature of the report under subdivision 3. In the case of an investigative consumer report, the disclosure under this subdivision must inform the consumer that the report may include information obtained through personal interviews regarding the consumer's character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living.
Subd. 2. Form
The disclosure required under subdivision 1 must be in writing and must be provided to the consumer before the consumer report is obtained or caused to be prepared. If a written application is provided for employment purposes by an employer or prospective employer, the disclosure must be included in or accompany the application. The disclosure must include a box that the person may check off and return to receive a copy of the consumer report. If the consumer requests a copy of the report, the person requesting the report shall request the person preparing the report to provide a copy to the consumer. The report must be sent to the consumer by the person preparing the report within 24 hours of providing it to the person requesting the report. The report to the consumer must include a statement of the consumer's right to dispute and correct any errors and of the procedures under United States Code, title 15, sections 1681 to 1681t. A consumer may not be charged for a report provided under this section. If no report exists, the consumer reporting agency has no obligation to the consumer under this section.
Subd. 3. Further disclosure if requested
A consumer reporting agency shall, upon written request from the consumer, make a complete and accurate disclosure of the nature and scope of the report. The disclosure under this subdivision must be in writing and must be mailed or delivered to the consumer within five days after the request for the disclosure was received or the consumer report was requested, whichever date is later.
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Our reporting system flags Minnesota residents. Our office will forward a copy of our report to the consumer upon completion.
Missouri has not enacted a valid statute governing credit reporting or the credit reporting agencies. There is a statute for “credit repairers” – companies that solicit to help you repair your credit and give you a better credit score. Those companies must follow strict rules for providing disclosures to consumers and allowing consumers to opt out of a contract.
Montana has an abundance of consumer protection laws that assist consumers. Montana Code Annotated 2003 §31-3-112 provides that no consumer reporting agency may make a consumer report containing records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime or any other adverse item of information which antedates the report by more than 7 years. Also, section 31-3-126 provides that a consumer reporting agency that provides a report for employment purposes that contains a public record likely to have a negative effect on the consumer shall either notify the consumer of the report , or make sure that the agency has maintained strict procedures to assure the information is complete and up to date. This section mirrors the FCRA 15 USC §1681k. This law was enacted in 1975 and is therefore effective.
Montana’s consumer protection laws, all found at 31-3-103, et seq. provides for a number of rights for consumers. The law provides that one’s credit rating is a property right (31-3-103); provides for the permissible purpose for the use of credit reports, which is the same purposes as is provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (31-3-111 and 112); and provides for a dispute procedure that also follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (31-3-124). However, even though the enactment of this law was early enough to remain valid, the FCRA still provides the best consumer protection, and consumers should still look to federal law for protection.
Nebraska has the Credit Report Protection Act, Ch. 8, Article 26. The statute provides for the rights of the citizens of Nebraska to a security freeze on their credit files and the rights and responsibilities of the consumer and the credit bureaus when it comes to placing a freeze on a consumer’s file. Nebraska has not enacted laws that discuss information that appears on credit or background reports. Consumers in Nebraska should look to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for help.
Nevada Revised Statutes 598C.150(2) provides that a reporting agency must periodically purge from its files and not disclose any civil judgment, criminal proceedings or other adverse information which precedes the report by more than 7 years. This law was enacted in 1993 and is therefore effective.
Nevada also has a statute as it pertains to the reporting and use of credit information. There is a provision that states that a person cannot procure a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency with the intent on selling that report unless it is clearly disclosed to the agency. Like the FCRA, the state law provides for the duties of a consumer reporting agency to furnish a report to a consumer upon request, and that the report must contain all the sources of information, but also a list of all those persons or companies that have seen the report within the last two years if for employment purposes, and 6 months for any other purpose. The state law also provides for a dispute procedure for a consumer seeking to challenge inaccurate information. However, this procedural requirement is no different from the FCRA.
Finally, the Nevada law provides for the requirement of a company taking adverse action against an individual based upon information in their report to notify that person of the action taken and provide information of the reporting agency that provided the information. This section also is a requirement under the FCRA.
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Our reporting system flags Nevada resident disputes. Our report will include all individuals and companies that have seen the report in the past two years.
New Hampshire has a few laws enacted that are helpful to consumers in the credit and background reporting arena. RSA 359-B:5 provides that no consumer reporting agency may make a consumer report containing records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime or any other adverse item of information which antedates the report by more than 7 years, EXCEPT if the salary is reasonably expected to equal $20,000 or more. This law was enacted in 1971 and is therefore effective.
Also, New Hampshire has enacted RSA 359-B:4 which provides limits for purposes for which one can access a consumer’s credit file. The reasons are those exact same ones found in the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Also, RSA 359-B:11 provides for a dispute procedure process when a consumer wishes to point out inaccuracies in their reports. Just like the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the New Hampshire law requires that a consumer reporting agency conduct a reasonable investigation into a consumer’s claims of inaccuracy within 30 days. The FCRA particularly requires that the consumer reporting agencies notify the creditor, or furnisher of the information, within 5 days of receiving the dispute that there is a dispute. The New Hampshire law does not discuss that aspect of the investigation, and therefore places no responsibilities on the part of the creditors in the investigation process.
Finally, the state law provides that a consumer reporting agency that provides a report for employment purposes that contains a public record likely to have a negative effect on the consumer shall either notify the consumer of the report , or make sure that the agency has maintained strict procedures to assure the information is complete and up to date. This section mirrors the FCRA 15 USC §1681k.
New Jersey also has a statute entitled the New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act – C:56.11-28. This law practically copies the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but adds in some provisions that are specific to New Jersey residents. The law provides the same requirements for the furnishing of consumer reports, and when one is permitted to be accessed. The law provides for what information must be disclosed to the consumer when a consumer requests his or her own credit file. The law provides for an investigative procedure for when disputed information is disputed, and for how previously deleted information is re-inserted to a credit report. Yet this part of the law practically mirrors the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. The law also provides the same remedies as the FCRA, namely the award of actual damages and attorney fees for negligent violations, and up to $1000 for willful violations.
New York Consolidated Laws, Article 25, Section 380-j provides that a consumer reporting agency may not report information relative to an arrest or criminal charge unless there has been a conviction for such arrest. A conviction may not be reported by more than 7 years from the date of conviction, release, or parole. Also, this law does not apply if the position of employment is reasonably expected to pay $25,000 or more. This law was enacted in 1977 and is therefore effective.
New York has not enacted any laws that refer specifically to credit information on a consumer’s credit file. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act provides ample protection for consumers in this area, and consumers in New York should look to federal law for assistance.
North Carolina has enacted the Identity Theft Protection Act to protect its consumers from the problems that can be associated with identity theft. This law does not govern the use of credit reports or how the credit reporting bureaus must act. Article 2A, §75-60, et seq. provides responsibilities of businesses to protect from disseminating personal information about consumers. For instance, the law provides for the protection of social security numbers when given to a business. The business may not make that information public, and the business cannot require the consumer to transmit their social security number over the internet or use that number as access to a website. The information may not be sold without consent, publicized or given away. The statute provides for the rights of consumers to a security freeze on their credit report, and provides for the means to place a freeze and remove one too.
North Dakota has not enacted any statutes that could compete or assist consumers more than the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. North Dakota residents only have the benefit of a law enacted that provides for the placement of security freezes on one’s reports. The law provides for who may place a freeze, when it may be placed, provisions for its removal and temporary removal, and provisions for the ability of a credit bureau to charge for a freeze placement or removal.
The residents of Ohio do not have a particular state law to look to when it comes to information on their credit reports or background reports. Residents of Ohio should look to the protections of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for assistance. However, Ohio has enacted the Ohio Credit Services Organization Act. This is a law that applies to businesses that offer to perform credit repair. These businesses are regulated in what kind of promises they can make, what kind of charges they can make, and what disclosures must be provided to consumers that wish to use these services.
Oklahoma House Bill 2492 provides that prior to requesting a consumer report for employment purposes, the requester or user of the report shall provide written notice to the consumer informing the consumer that a report will be used and must provide a check box for the consumer to have the option of obtaining a copy of the report themselves, and said report must be provided free of charge. While this law was enacted in 2000, it still may be effective because the law does not regulate how long information can remain on a credit file. This law governs matters that the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act does not.
Oklahoma also has a state law that provides for the rights of Oklahomans to place a security freeze on their credit file. The statute discusses who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the rights of the credit reporting agencies to charge up to $10 to place or remove a freeze on one’s report.
Oregonians have some consumer protection laws that provide minimal protection of personal credit and background information. ORS 746.600, et seq. governs the gathering and disclosure of personal information. However, this statute particularly addresses the insurance industry only. More importantly, the law does not extend to consumers and give them the right to address any violations in court. The matters are handled by regulatory agencies within the state.
ORS 659A.320 provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to obtain or use for employment purposes information contained in the credit history of an applicant for employment or an employee, or to refuse to hire, discharge, demote, suspend, retaliate or otherwise discriminate against an applicant or an employee with regard to promotion, compensation or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment based on information in the credit history of the applicant or employee. However, there are exceptions when the potential employee is applying to a bank or financial institution or in law enforcement. In those instances, a credit report can be procured and used in the decision process.
Pennsylvania has the Credit Reporting Agency Act which applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report. The statute discusses who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze.
Rhode Island has enacted the Consumer Empowerment and Identity Theft Prevention Act. This law applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report. The statute discusses who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze. There are no other statutes enacted in Rhode Island that would provide any protection for consumers in the area of their credit reports and background reports. Consumers in Rhode Island should look to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for those protections.
South Carolina has an identity theft protection statute that helps consumers when their credit reports are affected. The law (called the Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act – §37-20-110) provides for a great deal of protection for South Carolina Consumers. First, the law provides a consumer credit-reporting agency must give notice to each creditor who uses a consumer report if the agency becomes aware that an application to a card issuer to open a new credit card account bears an address for the consumer that is different from the address in its file of the consumer. A credit card issuer that mails an offer or solicitation to receive a credit card and, in response, receives a completed application for a credit card listing an address that is substantially different from the address on the offer or solicitation shall verify the change of address by contacting the person to whom the solicitation or offer was mailed, or by using other reasonable means of verifying the account holder’s identity.
South Dakota does not have any consumer protection laws that apply to information that appears on credit reports and background reports. Rather, South Dakota has a law that provides rights and responsibilities for security freezes to protect one’s credit file. This law applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report. The statute discusses who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze.
Tennessee does not have any consumer protection laws that apply to information that appears on credit reports and background reports. Consumers residing in Tennessee should look to and rely on the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act for these protections. Tennessee has enacted a statute to provide for the right of its residents to a security freeze to protect their credit information. This law applies solely to the issues of a security freeze on a credit report. The statute discusses who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze.
Texas had enacted a law that provided that no consumer reporting agency may make a consumer report containing records of arrest, indictment, or conviction of a crime or any other adverse item of information which antedates the report by more than 7 years, EXCEPT if the salary is reasonably expected to equal $75,000 or more. However, this law was created in 1997 and therefore we are of the opinion that the Fair Credit Reporting Act nullifies this statute.
Texas also has its Business and Commerce Code which is Chapter 20, Regulation of Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies. This law provides for much of the same as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The law provides for the permissible times that a person or company can access a consumer’s report, and its requirements are the same as that of the FCRA. However, this law extends beyond just pure credit reporting agencies and includes requirements of businesses that are “check verifiers.” It provides that a check verifier, upon written request from the consumer, must disclose to the consumer in writing all information pertaining to the consumer in the check verifier’s files at the time of the request, and must also disclose the criteria the company used to verify and provide the consumer with a method of disputing inaccurate information. In addition, Texas has made into its law a process by which the consumer reporting agencies must handle a dispute received by a consumer. Although the Texas law seems to follow the FCRA exactly, it still is of no consequence as the FCRA will control over Texas’s state law.
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Upon written request from the consumer, TABB will must disclose to the consumer in writing all information pertaining to the consumer in the verifier’s files at the time of the request, and disclose the criteria used to verify and provide the consumer with a method of disputing inaccurate information.
Utah has no statutes of its own to protect its residents in particular and directs consumers to the federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act for credit reporting errors; the Credit Repair Organizations Act for credit repairers who do not conduct their businesses properly; and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act for businesses that either discriminate in lending, or fail to provide necessary disclosures that reveal that there is no practice of discrimination in lending.
Vermont has its own Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are three main components. The first part deals with disclosures of reports to consumers and provides that a credit reporting agency shall, upon request and proper identification, provide the consumer a copy of his or her credit file. But this law also requires the disclosure of any credit score predictor used by that agency as it relates to that consumer. The second part deals with when a credit reporting agency can charge for providing a consumer his or her report. The third part provides for the rights and responsibilities of citizens and credit reporting agencies in having security freezes placed on a credit file.
It should be noted here that in Vermont the statute uses the term “credit report” unlike the federal FCRA that uses the term “consumer report.” Consumer reports under the FCRA are more expansive and include background checks. While the actual definition of “credit report” in the Vermont law appears to be the same definition of the federal law, the use of the term “credit” consistently throughout the statute calls into question whether an employee background report that contained no credit information would fall into the protection of this law.
Virginia has no statutes of its own to protect, and direct consumers to the federal laws that can protect, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act for credit reporting errors; the Credit Repair Organizations Act for credit repairers who do not conduct their businesses properly, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act for businesses that either discriminate in lending, or fail to provide necessary disclosures that reveal that there is no practice of discrimination in lending.
West Virginia does not have a statute that directly relates to credit reporting or provides any extra protections to consumers with credit report problems. However, West Virginia does have a statute that would protect co-signers of loans from having their credit harmed without knowing that the primary obligor failed to pay. The law provides that no person shall be held liable as co-signer, or be charged with personal liability for payment in a consumer credit sale, consumer lease or consumer loan unless that person, in addition to and before signing any instrument evidencing the transaction, signs and receives a separate notice which clearly explains his liability in the event of default by the consumer and also receives a copy of any disclosure. This could protect a consumer whose credit was damaged without knowing that a person they co-signed for failed to make payments.
Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) which applies to all other aspects of employment such as discrimination and the handling of disabilities, prohibits employers, except those filling bonded positions, from asking job applicants about arrests not resulting in convictions, unless the charges are currently pending. Furthermore, employers may not discharge or deny employment solely because of an arrest record.
Like so many other states, Wyoming provides its own version of a law providing its citizens the right to a security freeze on their credit files. This law also provides who and when a freeze may be placed, how it can get removed both permanently and temporarily, and the charges that the reporting bureaus may charge to place or remove a freeze.
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