Definition of Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act

The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act (CCRRA) was signed into law in 1996 and amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by strengthening certain provisions for consumers and clarifying some language that provided loopholes for certain companies and reporting agencies.

History

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, originally signed into law in 1970 and amended in 2003, provided certain protections for consumers against unfair reporting and credit pulling. Essentially, the act allowed customers greater access to their credit files to dispute erroneous information and defend their credit habits.

Significance

The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act strengthens the FCRA by doing the following: allowing greater access for consumers to their credit file, including a free copy of their credit report each year (annualcreditreport.com); limiting the access of employers to prospective employees' credit files; and allowing banks greater access to share information with their affiliates to increase efficiency.

Enforcement

The Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act also stepped up the enforcement of the regulations laid out in both the act itself and in the previous FCRA. Loose language in the previous act still allowed some companies to get around the legislation through loopholes.

Marketing

The new act provides more stringent regulation of marketing materials sent out by credit companies. Offers that guarantee "preapproval" and "guaranteed approval" were sometime not honored under the FCRA; the CCRRA makes it more difficult for lenders to rescind these offers once a customer took advantage of the offer.

Accountability

The CCRRA also enforces stricter liability regulations for those who report to credit reporting agencies. Those who misprint information or file erroneous information may be held liable for any hardship or financial loss incurred as a result of the false or mistaken information on a consumer credit file.

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