Fair Credit Reporting Act and Check Cashing Services

When Certegy Check Services settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $3.5 million, it was reported by the FTC (dated 8/15/2013) as its second largest civil penalty in history for an action involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). As a result I think it becomes much more important for check cashing companies and their like to be more attentive to their potential responsibilities and obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a law that has generally been on the books for over 40 years.

For background, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was originally signed into law in 1970. It is a law whose original focus may have been mostly on credit bureaus in an era where there were hundreds of small credit bureaus. However, now after the hundreds of small and medium sized credit bureaus have been essentially merged into and absorbed by the three largest credit bureau systems, there are newer targets for the law that protects consumers in credit transactions. These are all the other credit reporting re-sellers and consumer reporting agencies that exist today such as the mortgage reporting companies, tenant screening services, employment background checking, and other companies that collect and distribute credit related information such as public record information, medical payment histories, check writing history, and insurance claims. Continue reading

FICO Credit Scores From All Three Credit Bureaus Now Available to U.S. Consumers at myFICO.com

Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO™) announced recently that consumers are again able to obtain their 3 FICO® Scores that are based on the information reported by all 3 national credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consumers can obtain their 3 FICO Credit Scores at myFICO.com.

That’s good news for consumers because having the ability to check all three of their FICO Scores gives them additional tools they can use to retain control over their personal finances, especially considering it is estimated that the majority of the credit scores used by lenders are FICO Scores. Continue reading

Criminal Records on Pre Employment and Background Screening Reports

Criminal records are routinely included in background screening reports that employers receive on prospective employees as well as on reports that are requested on existing employees. However, before an employer has a background company run a report on you, they you must first obtain your permission to have the report run. This release is generally contained in something they require you to sign to be considered for employment, and may also be required to sign as a condition of employment. See Section 604(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act –  Conditions for Furnishing and Using Consumer Reports for Employment Purposes. Continue reading

FTC Gives Tips – How to Respond to Unwanted Telemarketing Calls, also called Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission has issued some guidance for consumers to address the problem of robocalls with two new videos:

What To Do If You Get a Robocall, and Robocalls Gone Wrong.

The videos present consumers with information on how to respond to robocalls, as well as informations about the FTC’s efforts to control illegal robocall activity. The FTC even set up a micro web site on robocalls at:
www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/robocalls/
Continue reading