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