16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures
Section 612(a)(1)(A) should be amended to change "12-month period" to "calendar year". It would not change the intent of the rule but would benefit those consumers who request a free annual credit report on a regular schedule, either in a single, annual request to all three major consumer reporting agencies or a separate request from a different agency every four months. Consumers should not be hindered by the fact that they make a request a few days before the anniversary of their previous request (maybe they want to receive their annual report prior to departing on an extended trip). Nor should they be unable to make a request on the same date every year (e.g., a birthday) because a reporting agency has their own interpretation of what a 12-month period is. I was denied a free report on April 29th this year because I had requested a report on April 29th of 2008. I think anyone would agree that April 29, 2009 is NOT in the same 12-month period as April 29, 2008. And a leap year would include an extra day to complicate the definition of a 12-month period. The rule should not be so restrictive that we have to resort to counting days to determine the eligibility for receiving a free credit report. After all, it is supposed to be a free "annual" report, not a free "365-day" report. If a consumer wants to request a report in December and then again in January that should be their choice. Changing to a calendar year requirement would greatly simplify the eligibility determination for all concerned.