On September 12, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (the “Bureau”) issued an interim rule to update two model disclosures following the recent enactment of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”).
Pursuant to the Act, nationwide consumer reporting agencies must provide free national security freezes, which prevent potential lenders from accessing a consumer’s report and, in turn, limit an identity thief’s ability to open accounts in the consumer’s name. The Act also requires that a notice regarding the right to a security freeze be provided to any consumer that receives either the Summary of Consumer Rights or the Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Act’s new requirements take effect on September 21, 2018.
In an effort to help businesses comply with the Act’s requirements, the Bureau’s interim rule updates its model forms to incorporate a security freeze notice and reflect the new minimum duration for initial fraud alerts, which the Act extended from 90 days to one year. Additionally, the interim rule permits compliance alternatives to assist users of the Bureau’s 2012 model forms. Specifically, under the interim rule, the Bureau will consider the use of the model forms published on November 14, 2012 in Appendices I and K (or a “substantially similar” form) to comply with the FCRA’s form requirements so long as a separate page containing the following additional information also is provided in the same transmittal: (i) a statement that the minimum duration of initial fraud alerts changed from 90 days to one year effective September 21, 2018, (ii) a notice that consumers have a right to a security freeze, as explained in the new version of Appendix K; and (iii) updated contact information for certain FCRA enforcement agencies. While this compliance alternative can be used after the interim rule goes into effect later this month, the Bureau has advised that users should discontinue use of the older model forms published on December 21, 2011 no later than September 21, 2018.
The Bureau is currently soliciting comments on the model forms, available at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/documents/6832/bcfp_interim-final-rule_fcra_rights-summaries.pdf.