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Special Credit Report Notes - State Laws

Credit inquiry can cause up to a 5 point drop in your credit score.

A so-called "hard credit inquiry" can potentially hurt your credit score. This type of inquiry comes from lenders, banks, credit card companies and other potential creditors who pull your credit report for the purpose of extending you credit. Multiple inquiries within a short amount of time are normally grouped together to lessen the impact. Multiple inquires usually occur when you are shopping around for the best mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and so forth. The actual amount of damage (drop in credit score) depends on the number of inquiries, the time period in which the inquires occurred and a few other minor factors on your credit report.

Performing your own inquiry does NOT record hard inquiries on your credit report. Also, a hard inquiry usually remains on your credit reports for 2 years.

Information Regarding State Laws

California
Colorado
Connecticut
Maryland
Massachusetts
Texas
Vermont
Washington

Up California Residents
You have the right to obtain a copy of your credit file from a consumer reporting agency. You also have the right to receive a credit score developed by the reporting agency. You may be charged a reasonable fee not exceeding eight dollars ($8) for the credit file, and a reasonable fee for the credit score. There is no fee for the credit file, however, if you have been turned down for credit, employment, insurance, or a rental dwelling because of information in your credit report within the preceding 60 days. The consumer reporting agency must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file.

You have the right to dispute inaccurate information by contacting the consumer reporting agency directly. However, neither you nor any credit repair company or credit service organization has the right to have accurate, current and verifiable information removed from your credit report. Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer credit reporting agency must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over seven years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for 10 years.

If you have notified a consumer reporting agency in writing that you dispute the accuracy of the information in your file, the consumer credit reporting agency must then, within 30 business days, reinvestigate and modify or remove inaccurate information. The consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee for this service. Any pertinent information and copies of all documents you have concerning an error should be given to the consumer reporting agency.

If reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a brief statement to the consumer reporting agency to keep in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The consumer reporting agency must include your statement about disputed information in a report it issues about you.

You have a right to receive a record of all inquiries relating to a credit transaction initiated in 12 months preceding your request. This record shall include the recipients of any consumer report.

You may request in writing that the information contained in your file not be provided to a third party for marketing purposes.

You have the right to place a security alert in your credit report, which will warn anyone who receives information in your credit report that your identity may have been used without your consent and that recipients of your credit report are advised, but not required, to verify your identity prior to issuing credit. The security alert may prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. The security alert may delay or interfere with the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make that involves access to your credit information such as a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, and an extension of credit at point of sale. The security alert will remain on your credit report for 12 months.

You have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report every 90 days while the security alert is in effect. A security alert may be requested by written request or by calling:

TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
Fax: 714-447-6034
Phone: 800-680-7289

Equifax Credit Information Services
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 105069
Atlanta, GA 30348
Phone: 800-525-6285

Experian's National Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 1017
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: 888-397-3742

You have the right to place a security freeze on your credit report, which will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing any information in your credit report without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing. A security freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make that involves access to your credit report such as a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, and an extension of credit at point of sale. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided a personal identifier to use if you choose to remove the freeze or authorize the release of your credit report. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:

1) The personal identifier

2) Proper identification to verify your identity

3) The period of time for which your credit report shall be available and, if you choose, the proper information regarding the third party who is to receive your credit report

A consumer credit reporting agency must authorize the release of your credit report no later than three business days after receiving the above information.

A security freeze does not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing account, that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a reasonable fee to a consumer who elects to freeze, remove the freeze or temporarily lift the freeze regarding access to a consumer credit report unless the consumer is a victim of identity theft who has submitted the appropriate substantiating proof to the consumer credit reporting agency.

If you are a victim of identity theft and provide to a consumer credit reporting agency a copy of a valid police report or a valid investigative report made by a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator with peace officer status describing your circumstances, the following shall apply:

(1) You have a right to have any information you list on the report as allegedly fraudulent promptly blocked so that the information cannot be reported. The information will be unblocked only if:

(A) the information you provide is a material misrepresentation of the facts,

(B) you agree that the information is blocked in error, or

(C) you knowingly obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transactions. If blocked information is unblocked, you will be promptly notified.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2003 you have a right to receive, free of charge and upon request, one copy of your credit report each month for up to 12 consecutive months.

Up Colorado Residents
If a CRA investigates the information in your report at your request, you will receive an updated credit report, and another copy of this notice, to indicate that the investigation is completed. The results of the investigation will be shown in that report. In addition to all the other rights listed, you may bring an action to enforce any obligation imposed on the CRA under Colorado Law in any court of competent jurisdiction or submitted to binding arbitration, after you have followed all dispute procedures in the Colorado law and have received this notice, in the manner set forth in the rules of the American Arbitration Association to determine whether the CRA has met its obligations under law.

No decision of an arbitrator pursuant to this provision shall affect the validity of any obligation or debt. A successful party to any such arbitration shall be compensated for the costs and attorney fees of the proceeding as determined by the court or arbitration.

No consumer may submit more than one action to arbitration against any consumer reporting agency during any 120 day period. The results of any arbitration action brought against a consumer reporting agency doing business in this state shall be communicated in a timely manner to all other consumer reporting agencies doing business in this state.

If, as a results of an arbitration a determination is made in favor of the consumer, any adverse information in such consumer's file or record shall be removed or stricken in a timely manner, or the consumer may bring an action against the non-complying agency pursuant to this section, in spite of the 120 day waiting period.

In addition to the rights discussed above, you also have a right to receive a credit score developed by the consumer reporting agency.

Up Connecticut Residents
In addition to the rights above: You may be charged a reasonable fee for a copy of your credit report not exceeding $5.00 for your first request in 12 months or $7.50 for any subsequent request in the same 12 month period.

The credit reporting agency must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file. If you make a dispute to the credit reporting agency and if you provide additional information to the credit reporting agency, the agency may extend the time it has to investigate your dispute by 15 business days.

The credit reporting agency shall provide you with a toll-free telephone number to use in resolving the dispute. If you have reviewed your credit report with the credit reporting agency and are dissatisfied, you may contact the Connecticut department of banking. You have a right to bring a civil action against anyone who knowingly or willfully misuses file data or improperly obtains access to your file.

Up Maryland Residents
Your Commissioner of Financial Regulations is Mary Louise Preis. You may write to her at:

500 N. Calvert, Room 402
Baltimore, Maryland 12202
or call 1-410-230-6100.

In addition to the rights above, you are entitled to request a copy of your file free of charge one time in a twelve-month period and thereafter for a $5 charge each time.

Up Massachusetts Residents
If a CRA investigates the information in your report at your request, you will receive an updated credit report, and another copy of this notice, to indicate that the investigation is completed. The results of the investigation will be shown in that report.

In addition to all the other rights listed, you have the right to one free report upon request each calendar year. You have the right to deny permission for a CRA to include your name on mailing lists by writing the address listed above under "Mailing Preference" or by calling 1-888-567-8688.

Up Texas Residents
As of September 1, 2003 you have the right to place a security alert in your consumer file, which will warn anyone who receives information in your consumer file that your identity may have been used without your consent and that recipients of your consumer file information are advised to verify your identity prior to issuing credit.

The security alert may prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. The security alert may delay or interfere with the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make that involves access to your credit information such as a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, and an extension of credit at point of sale. The security alert will remain on your consumer file for not less than 45 days after the date the security alert is placed on your file. You have the right to obtain a free copy of your consumer file every 45 days while the security alert is in effect.

As of September 1, 2003 you have the right to place a security freeze on your consumer file, which will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing any information in your consumer file without your express authorization. However your consumer file can be released without your express authorization if the intended use is one of those specified by Texas law as being exempt from security freezes. A security freeze must be requested in writing.

A security freeze may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make that involves access to your consumer file such as a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, and an extension of credit at point of sale. When you place a security freeze on your consumer file, you will be provided a personal identifier to use if you choose to remove the freeze or authorize the release of your consumer file. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:

1) The personal identifier

2) Proper identification to verify your identity

3) The period of time for which your consumer file shall be available and/or the proper information regarding the third party who is to receive your consumer file.

As of September 1, 2003 a consumer reporting agency may charge a Texas consumer a fee not to exceed $8.00 for placing a security freeze on his or her consumer file. On January 1 of each year beginning in 2004, the security freeze fee may be increased. The increase, if any, must be based proportionally on changes to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers as determined by the United States Department of Labor with fractional changes rounded to the nearest 50 cents.

You have the following rights to file action in court or arbitrate disputes:

(1) An action to enforce an obligation of a consumer reporting agency to a consumer under the Texas Regulation of Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies (Texas Business and Commerce Code Chapter 20) may be brought in court as provided by the FCRA, as amended, or, if agreed to by both parties, may be submitted to binding arbitration after you have followed all dispute procedures in Section 20.06 and have received the notice specified in Section 20.06(f) in the manner provided by the rules of the American Arbitration Association.

(2) A decision rendered by an arbitrator does not affect the validity of an obligation or debt owed by the consumer to any party.

(3) A prevailing party in an action or arbitration proceeding shall be compensated for the party's attorney fees and costs of the proceeding as determined by the court or arbitration.

(4) A consumer may not submit to arbitration more than one action against a particular consumer reporting agency during any 120-day period.

(5) The results of an arbitration action brought against a consumer reporting agency doing business in Texas shall be communicated in a timely manner to other consumer reporting agencies doing business in Texas.

Up Vermont Residents

Under Vermont law, you are allowed to receive one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting agency. If you would like to obtain your free credit report, you should contact a CRA by writing or calling:

TransUnion, LLC
P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
or by calling:
1-800-888-4213

Equifax Information Services, LLC
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
or by calling
1-800-685-1111

Experian
by calling 866-200-6020

Under Vermont law, no one may access your credit report without your permission except under the following limited circumstances:

(a) in response to a court order;

(b) for direct mail offers of credit;

(c) if you have given ongoing permission and you have an existing relationship with the person requesting a copy of your credit report;

(d) where the request for a credit report is related to an educational loan made, guaranteed, or serviced by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation;

(e) where the request for a credit report is by the Office of Child Support Services when investigating a child support case;

(f) where the request for a credit report is related to a credit transaction entered into prior to January 1, 1993; and

(g) where the request for a credit report is by the Vermont State Tax Department and is used for the purpose of collecting or investigating delinquent taxes.

If you believe the law regulating consumer credit reporting has been violated, you may file a compliant with the Vermont Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Program

Up Washington Residents
If a CRA investigates the information in your report at your request, you will receive an updated credit report, and another copy of this notice, to indicate that the investigation is completed. The results of the investigation will be shown in that report.

Items that a CRA cannot verify will not appear in your updated credit report or in future reports, unless the information is later verified. Items that a CRA verifies will appear on the updated report with an indication that they were verified, and any items that a CRA changes will show those changes on your updated report.

Attorney General's office is located at:
900 4th Ave Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98164
1-800-551-4636
You may also visit the web site http://www.wa.gov/ago/consumer