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Reinvestigation, Disclosures, Disposal of Consumer Information

Reinvestigation, Disclosures, Disposal of Consumer InformationReinvestigation, Disclosures, Disposal of Consumer Information

Summary

As a real estate professional, your obligation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act does not end with the notification of your applicant’s approval or adverse action. Reinvestigation, disclosures, and disposal of consumer information is also part of your job. It is important for you to understand your role in each of these processes and in maintaining and communicating the information you’ve used to come to a decision in regard to each and every rental application.

Last updated Oct 21, 2020

Disclaimer: This website is neither an exhaustive summary of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) nor legal advice for you to use in complying with it. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand the FCRA and how it can apply to your business. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so you should consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. You may not rely on this paper as legal advice, nor as an endorsement of any particular legal understanding.

FCRA Reinvestigation

CRAs must respond to a dispute by:

  • Making a good faith effort to determine the accuracy of the disputed item.
  • Checking with original sources or other reliable sources.
  • Conducting a reinvestigation that must be more than a “cursory investigation” of the reliability of information. It must be completed within 30 days.
  • Considering any information provided by the consumer.
  • Terminating the reinvestigation if the dispute is “frivolous or irrelevant.”
  • “Promptly” deleting inaccurate information.
  • Notifying the consumer of results.
  • Noting on subsequent reports that the information is disputed unless it determines the dispute is “clearly frivolous.”  
  • Appending the disputed record at the time the investigation is closed.  No notation is required if plaintiff is right.

FCRA Disclosures

Consumers have the right to make a request to see what is in their file.  A file is all information maintained by the consumer reporting agency on the consumer.  CRAs are required to provide consumers with all information in the file, identify the sources of information, identify each person who has obtained a copy of the report and provide a summary of rights under the FCRA.

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FCRA Disposal of Consumer Information

Consumer reports are highly confidential and must be disposed of properly.  CRAs must take reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to information.  Reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to information include burning, pulverizing or shredding, destroying or erasing electronic data, or contracting with records disposal companies.

Continue to What is a Consumer Report?, or jump to a different article.

  1. Fundamentals of The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  2. Industry Players Under FCRA
  3. Accuracy and Reasonable Procedures
  4. FCRA Permissible Purpose
  5. Adverse Action Notification
  6. Reinvestigation, Disclosures, Disposal of Consumer Information
  7. What is a Consumer Report?
  8. A summary of consumer rights under FCRA
  9. FCRA Litigation
  10. State Versions of FCRA and FCRA California

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