Comments Regarding the Use of Personal Medical Data by Financial Institutions

The proposed rule generally prohibits a creditor from obtaining and using medical information for making decisions about a consumer's credit eligibility. The rule then makes an exception that allows creditors to obtain and use financial information that happens to be related to medical debts, expenses and income.

Consumer Group Analysis of House FCRA Legislation, H.R. 2622

This memo provides a section-by-section analysis of H.R. 2622, which was reported out of the House Financial Services Committee on July 25th. Although the bill takes some steps to prevent identity theft, improve accuracy and protect medical privacy, it fails to offer meaningful solutions to the most important problems that were identified in Senate and House hearings, especially given that the quid pro quo for these measures is permanent and perhaps expanded preemption of state laws.

Consumers in West Coast States Can Get Free Credit Reports Starting December 1, 2004

Beginning December 1, 2004, consumers living in the western U.S. will have the right to order a free copy of their credit report thanks to a new federal law, known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, or FACTA, adopted by Congress in 2003. Consumers elsewhere in the nation will get the same right over the next year as the law is phased in across the country. By requiring credit reporting bureaus to provide free credit reports annually upon request, the new law enables consumers to more readily monitor if they are victims of identity theft or if their credit reports contain errors.

Consumer Notice Requirements for Opting Out of Pre-Approved Offers of Credit

For years, consumers have received preapproved credit offers with required notices and opt-out telephone numbers buried in fine print along with other mandatory legal notices. We support the Commission’s proposal to provide a layered notice. The proposal calls for a “short notice” on the principal promotional document. The short notice includes the most important information, including opt-out telephone number, with direction to a “long notice” located elsewhere in the solicitation.

New Look for Prescreened Credit and Insurance Offers

tarting August 1, 2005, unsolicited offers for credit or insurance that are based on information in your credit report should be easier to spot.

New regulations adopted by the Federal Trade Commission now require notices to prominently display the toll free number (1-888-5OPTOUT or 1-888-567-8688) to opt-out. Now, this number, along with a statement that you can stop the unsolicited offers, must appear - in at least 12-point type - on the first page of the offer.

FTC Sues Imposter Web Sites Offering "Free Credit Reports"

The FTC this week announced a lawsuit and simultaneous settlement with, a subsidiary of the credit bureau Experian, and, companies that advertise free credit reports. The FTC charged the companies with "deceptive and misleading" claims. and advertised "free credit reports," but failed to inform consumers that they were automatically signing up for credit report monitoring services and would be charged $79.95 if they did not cancel within 30 days.

Fair and Reasonable Fee for Credit Score Disclosure: Comments to Federal Trade Commission

For years lenders have relied on scoring models to evaluate risk in extending credit to individual consumers for a car loan, mortgage or credit card. Following the lead of states like California and Colorado, Congress amended the FCRA with the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-159, (FACTA), and gave consumers the right to view their score as well as get an explanation of the factors that went into the score.

When consumer interests are factored in, the only fair and reasonable approach is for the Commission to set a fee limited to the actual cost of producing and delivering the score to consumers.


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