Commission authorization of staff amicus brief filing: The Commission has voted to join in an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court by the United States in the consolidated cases of Safeco Insurance Co. of America v. Charles Burr (No. 06-84, Sup. Ct.), and GEICO General Insurance Company v. Ajene Edo (No. 06-100, Sup. Ct.). The cases raise two issues. The first involves the proper interpretation of “willful noncompliance,” as that phrase is used in Section 616 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The brief argues that it encompasses situations where the violator either knew, or showed reckless disregard as to, whether its conduct violated the law. The second issue involves an insurance company's obligation under the FCRA to provide an applicant with an adverse action notice, and the brief argues that the obligation arises whenever an insurance company offers a consumer a higher rate than it would otherwise have offered if the information in the consumer's report had been more favorable. The brief also argues that GEICO's conduct was not willful. The brief urges the Supreme Court to vacate and remand the decision in Safeco, and to reverse the decision in GEICO.
The Commission voted 4-0, with Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch recused, to join in the amicus brief, which can be found as a link to this press release on the FTC’s Web site. (FTC File No. P042118; the staff contact is Lawrence DeMille-Wagman, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2448; see related press releases dated January 23, February 24, August 6, and September 10, 2004.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.