Compliance Question of the Week

Question: The credit reports we use are through the company Factual Data. This company retrieves the information from Equifax and on our tri-merge requests, retrieves from all 3 consumer reporting agencies. We have been putting on the denial letters the address and phone numbers of the consumer reporting agencies for the person to contact. Factual Data did a review of our procedures and is saying that it should be their name and address on the denial letters since they furnished the report. I want to verify that changing to their name, address and # only would be correct.

Answer: To be most conservative, we would agree and recommend including Factual Data on the Adverse Action Notice, including their name, address, and phone number.

There is currently a debate in the industry, including with examiners, regarding whether tri-merge companies are considered a credit reporting agency. If they are, it would be recommended that they are disclosed on the Adverse Action Notice.

15 USC 1681a(p)

“The term “consumer reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis” means a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating, and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, each of the following regarding consumers residing nationwide: (1) Public record information. (2) Credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.”

“Multiple credit scores. 28 In certain cases, a person may receive multiple credit scores from consumer reporting agencies. If the person only uses one credit score in making the decision, that particular score and related information for that specific credit score must be disclosed. If the person uses multiple credit scores in making the credit decision, only one of the scores is required to be disclosed; however, the FCRA does not prohibit creditors from disclosing multiple credit scores to the consumer.”

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