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Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has been updated and is now called the new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). Passed in December 2003; it added new regulations for identity theft protections, data privacy and credit report access and allows consumers to request one free consumer disclosure (credit report) from each credit reporting agency once per year and requires an on-line ordering program.

You have three options for requesting your FREE Credit Reports

Option 1:
Use the central web site at www.annualcreditreport.com

Option 2:
Call the free annual credit report number, toll-free at 877-322-8228

Option 3:
Use the Annual Credit Report Request Form (upper right) to request a copy of the Annual Credit Report Request Form. My system will immediatly email the form to whatever email address you prefer. Simply fill out the form and mail it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
The mailing address is also printed on the form.

Important: Free credit reports were phased in during a nine-month period, rolling from the West Coast to the East beginning December 1, 2004 and by September 1, 2005, free credit reports are accessible to all Americans, regardless of where they live.

CAUTION: Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are only providing free annual credit reports through the central web site: www.annualcreditreport.com (for security reasons, you must copy and paste, or manually type this address into your web browser)

Western States
December 1, 2004

Midwestern States
March 1, 2005.

Southern States
June 1, 2005

Eastern States
September 1, 2005

Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Hawaii
Idaho
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
Oregon
Utah
Washington
Wyoming

Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
North Dakota
Ohio
South Dakota
Wisconsin

Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Mississippi
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas

Connecticut
Delaware
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
District of Columbia
Puerto Rico
All U.S. territories

Bill of Rights (FACTA)

The new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) has been approved by both Houses of Congress and was sent to President for his signature. It amends the current Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to "prevent identity theft, improve resolutions of consumer disputes, improve accuracy of consumer records, make improvements in the use of, and consumer access to credit information, and for other purposes."

Beginning January 01, 2004 the new provisions will make it easier for consumers in all fifty states to deal with their credit files. Among the new FACTA provisions are a free copy, annually upon request, of credit reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies (CRAs), disclosure of credit scores, which are used by lenders when making lending decisions and several identity theft measures including 'Fraud Alerts' in credit files.

Further, when requesting free credit reports, the law includes a provision whereby the CRA's must notify consumers of their right to get their credit scores and also include an explanation of factors that may have a negative affect on your score. Now consumers may dispute directly to the creditor and the CRA, plus creditors must notify a consumer whenever negative information is going to be sent to a CRA for inclusion in a credit file, reducing the number of inaccurate reports going into files because the consumer will know in advance. Now, consumers would know in advance if a lender was making a false report on a late pay or other delinquency, for instance, and therefore may dispute it directly before it hits a credit file.

Further, to help consumers who are actively shopping for a mortgage, automobile or other type of loan, avoid having an incredible number of inquiries on their credit reports as a result, would receive a special notification from the CRA that these inquiries are lowering the consumer's credit score. Here is a summary of the major amendments:

Reasons For Bad Credit: Lost job or income unexpectedly; Separation or Divorce; Co-signed for another; bankrupt; Maxed out credit cards; Illness or other accidental disability; Tax liens or judgments; bounced checks; Victim of crime or fraud;

Reasons For Credit File Problems: Late or missed payments; delinquent items, now paid BUT not removed; Separation and/or divorce; Bankruptcy; Collection and/or charge-offs; Other family members with same/similar name; All credit cards leases or loans not listed; Incorrect information in file; Too many credit inquiries; Victim of fraud;