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October 13, 2009

Part 2 of explanation of 15 U.S.C. 1681d

Yesterday, I began explaining the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 1681d of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  This post will complete that explanation, starting with subsection (d) of 15 U.S.C. 1681d.

"(d) Prohibitions

(1) Certification. A consumer reporting agency shall not prepare or furnish investigative consumer report unless the agency has received a certification under subsection (a)(2) from the person who requested the report."

[Or unless the CRA has reasonable procedures, followed or not, to this effect.  See part 1 of 1681d's explanation for the reason why.]

"(2) Inquiries. A consumer reporting agency shall not make an inquiry for the purpose of preparing an investigative consumer report on a consumer for employment purposes if the making of the inquiry by an employer or prospective employer of the consumer would violate any applicable Federal or State equal employment opportunity law or regulation."

[I do not think this is referring to the inquiry section found at the bottom of most credit reports. I believe this section actually refers to "inquiries" that occur as part of the process of gathering the information needed to prepare the investigative report. So any such investigation that would violated Federal or State EEOC laws would is prohibited.]

"(3) Certain public record information. Except as otherwise provided in section 613 [1681k], a consumer reporting agency shall not furnish an investigative consumer report that includes information that is a matter of public record and that relates to an arrest, indictment, conviction, civil judicial action, tax lien, or outstanding judgment, unless the agency has verified the accuracy of the information during the 30-day period ending on the date on which the report is furnished."

[This is an interesting subsection. It requires the CRA to investigate, or have investigated within the last 30 days before the investigative consumer report is furnished to the user, the accuracy of any arrests, indictments, convictions as well as lawsuits, tax liens or outstanding judgments. Apparently, it does not include bankruptcies or satisfied judgments. So if the CRA has maintained an investigative report on a consumer that includes the above types of public record information, the CRA must re-verify that information in the thirty day window before providing the investigative consumer report to the user.]

"(4) Certain adverse information. A consumer reporting agency shall not prepare or furnish an investigative consumer report on a consumer that contains information that is adverse to the interest of the consumer and that is obtained through a personal interview with a neighbor, friend, or associate of the consumer or with another person with whom the consumer is acquainted or who has knowledge of such item of information unless

(A) the agency has followed reasonable procedures to obtain confirmation of the information, from an additional source that has independent and direct knowledge of the information; or

(B) the person interviewed is the best possible source of the information."

[Basically, a provision to keep out unsubstantiated rumor and trash talk. Unless the person providing the rumor or trash talk is the best possible source of such trash talk.]

This concludes 1681d. I will move on to explaining 15 U.S.C. 1681e soon.

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