The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new model form “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,”¹ that must be used starting September 21, 2018, available here.²
The form includes new disclosures required under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, passed in May 2018. Specifically, the form has been revised to notify consumers of their rights regarding security freezes. If a consumer initiates a security freeze, it restricts prospective lenders from accessing their credit reports and prevents others from opening accounts in the consumer’s name.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers (or the companies who are conducting background checks for employers) must provide a “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” to employees or applicants before any adverse action is taken against them based on credit check covered by FCRA.
Damages for failure to comply with FCRA’s notice and disclosure requirements can be significant (especially in the class action context), including actual or statutory damages and in some cases punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Employers should replace their “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” form immediately with the new form to avoid any future claims of improper notice.
¹The revised form is also available in Spanish on the CFPB’s website.
²The CFPB simultaneously released an updated notice regarding Remedying the Effects of Identify Theft, available here, a required form when a consumer (including an employee or applicant) has notified a consumer reporting agency that they are the victim of identity theft.