Publication of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice concerning the rule on prohibition against circumventing treatment as a nationwide consumer reporting agency (nationwide CRA). As detailed in the notice, which will be published shortly and is now available as a link to this press release on the FTC’s Web site, the Commission is responsible for implementing certain provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), which was signed by the President in December 2003. FACTA, which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), requires nationwide CRAs to provide consumers with one free file disclosure – commonly known as a credit report – each year. Congress has directed the Commission to develop a rule to ensure nationwide CRAs will not attempt to circumvent this and other FCRA requirements. Accordingly, the Federal Register notice presents an interim final rule prohibiting circumvention of nationwide CRA obligations and providing several illustrations of the types of conduct that would constitute circumvention. In addition, the interim final rule would offer a safe harbor to nationwide consumer reporting agencies that continue to comply with all FCRA obligations of nationwide CRAs.
The interim final rule, which will become effective on March 3, 2004, is subject to public comment until April 23, 2004, after which the Commission will determine whether it will modify the final rule. Information for consumers wishing to comment is provided in the notice. The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. R411003; the staff contacts are Helen Goff Foster and Sandra J. Farrington, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3224; see related press release issued February 4, 2004.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.