If you are a subscriber to the Creditworthy News and frequent reader
of this column then you know that often I will write a follow up piece
to a column that has received a lot of feedback. Never, however, have
I felt the need to do so right after the publication of a piece.
The response to the column the FTC HAS SPOKEN has been overwhelming
and it is obvious from your e mails that many of you feel that the new
FCRA does not apply in your case. Unfortunately, the Federal Trade
Commission has a different opinion and unless there is a ruling by a
court of law their opinion is the one that counts.
Collection agencies, background investigators, employment agencies,
employment verification firms, firms with government contracts (local,
state AND federal), insurance companies, not for profit organizations,
and yes, even some public agencies are NOT EXEMPT from the new FCRA
when it comes to the consumer and their credit report.
It is obvious from the letters that the FTC has received since 1998
that there existed many "loopholes" whereby creditors,
employers, businesses and their agents felt that they had a right to
access a consumers credit file. The new FCRA has closed these
"loopholes" in the eyes of the FTC who is charged with
enforcement of the new law.
If you have questions concerning your situation I suggest you visit
the FTC's website at FTC.GOV and review the opinions concerning the
Fair Credit Reporting Act and consumer credit reports and accessing
them. They have also redefined who is considered a credit reporting
agency and many firms are discovering that in light of the revised law
the FTC now looks upon them as credit reporting agencies.
It is evident that the consumer (debtor) is being granted more
protection by the government as we enter into the new millennium.
I wish you well.