The Federal Trade Commission’s final regulations that relate to the obligations of furnishers who provide information to consumer reporting agencies (CRA) goes into effect next Thursday, July 1st. Under the Fair and Accurate Transaction Act (FACT Act), which amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies that provide information to CRA’s are required to establish written policies regarding the “accuracy and integrity” of information furnished to the CRA. This includes employers who provide reference/employment verification or other information about their current and former employees to background screening companies.
FACT Act Furnisher policies should be designed to promote the following:
- Integrity of the furnished information such that the information is substantiated by records at the time it is furnished, is furnished in a form and manner to minimize the likelihood that information may be incorrectly reflected in a consumer report by including indentifying information about the consumer, be furnished in a standardized and clear manner with a date specifying the time period to which it relates.
In drafting reporting policies, furnishers should also evaluate the reporting method of information that is furnished, record keeping requirements, internal audits or controls, training for staff, and effective oversight.
Also effective July 1, 2010, furnishers will be required to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation into consumer disputes of information if the dispute relates to credit accounts or any other information contained in a consumer report relating to a person’s credit, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living. Previously, consumers were encouraged to contact CRAs directly in any disputes. Now, furnishers will be required to conduct.
However, furnishers do not have to reinvestigate direct disputes relating to: consumer’s identifying information; identity of past or present employers; inquires or requests for a consumer report; information derived from public records; information related to fraud alerts or active duty alerts; or information provided to a CRA from a different furnisher.
Furnishers also do not have to investigate a dispute if the consumer doesn’t provide enough information to properly investigate the disputed information.
Questions? Please contact Corporate Screening Support at 800-229-8606 and select option 3, or contact your Account Representative.