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FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act)

FAIR AND ACCURATE CREDIT TRANSACTIONS ACT

Signed into law by Pres. Bush in December of 2003, the Fact Act [as it’s often referred] was designed to ensure that all citizens are treated fairly when applying for credit. Specifically, the bill was designed to significantly increase consumer protections against the growing problem of identity theft. FACTA also extends the current provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Some of the major provisions of FACTA …

  • Provide consumers with a free credit report every year.
  • Give consumers the right to see their credit scores (for a fee).
  • Provide consumers with the ability to opt-out of information sharing between affiliated companies for marketing purposes.
  • Ensure that consumers are notified if merchants are going to report negative information to the credit bureaus about them.
  • Allow consumers to place “fraud alerts” in their credit reports to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts in their names (includes special provisions to active duty military).
  • Allow consumers to block information from being given to a credit bureau and from being reported by a credit bureau if such information results from identity theft.
  • Restrict access to consumers’ sensitive health information.
  • Provide consumers with one-call-for-all protection by requiring credit bureaus to share consumer calls on identity theft, including requested fraud alert blocking.
  • Require creditors to take certain precautions before extending credit to consumers who have placed “fraud alerts” in their files.
  • Stop merchants from printing more than the last five digits of a payment card on an electronic receipt.

Consumer credit is such a vital thing for most consumers – the ability to have protections in place to help consumers protect the credit they work so hard to build and develop is critical.

FACTA Press Release:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031204-3.html

Summary of FACTA changes to FCRA:
http://www.consumerlaw.org/initiatives/facta/nclc_analysis.shtml#1

Fair Credit Reporting Act:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcra.htm