San Diego, CA - The new Fair and
Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) which provides
consumers with a free copy of their individual credit
reports on an annualized basis also gives consumers the
right to one free report prepared by a "nationwide
specialty consumer reporting agency." ChoicePoint, founded
in 1997 by Equifax - now independent - is one of those
specialty agencies which has over 15 billion records about
ChoicePoint has been in the news recently because of the
major identity theft of tens of thousands of records
containing very private and personal information about
people's health, insurance coverage, driving records and
much more, by miscreants who outwitted ChoicePoint into
thinking they were legitimate reporting agencies.
ChoicePoint admits its credentialing process failed.
The OTHER free annual report is one prepared by a
"nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency" relating
to medical records, check writing history, Medical records
or payments, residential or tenant history, or employment
history and insurance claims, for example.
Consumers may request free "Specialty" consumer reports,
beginning December 1, 2004, that compiles files on
consumers relating to:
' Medical records or payments (for example, the MIB -
Medical Bureau Information - Report).
' Residential or tenant history. (for example, the UD -
Unlawful Detainer - Registry).
' Check writing history (for example ChexSystems).
' Employment history. (for example, background checks
provided by Choicepoint).
' Insurance claims. (for example, CLUE - Comprehensive
Loss Underwriting Exchange).
access to a "specialty" report is available now for all
Obtaining your free specialty report is not subject to the
same phase-in schedule that applies to credit reports. FTC
regulations require companies that prepare reports on
consumers for employment, insurance claims, rental, check
writing, and medical records history, as a minimum, to
establish a toll free telephone number for ordering free
file disclosures. Specialty reporting companies may also
provide information on a web site.
"Not everyone has a need to obtain every free specialty
report. Consumers should order a "specialty" report before
shopping for new homeowners or automobile insurance,
opening a new checking account, applying for private
health or life insurance, or renting a home or apartment,"
said Beth Givens of the San Diego based Private Rights
Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer information and
advocacy organization (PrivacyRights.org).
"Job applicants who have consistently been turned down for
a job can also benefit from this new FACTA right.
Employers, landlords, insurance companies and banks that
use specialty consumer reports are obligated to give
consumers a free report if services are denied. However,
the new FACTA provision gives consumers the chance to get
their file free directly from the companies that prepare
these specialty reports," added Givens.
Consumers who find errors in a "specialty" report have the
same rights to dispute as with errors found in a credit
For the MIB Report (Medical Information
For the UD Registry (Unlawful Detainer Registry).
For CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange)
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.