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Fair Credit
Reporting Act 

As a "consumer reporting agency", the activities of esa fall under the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") [15 USC 1681].
 


 
  The significant provisions of the FCRA are as follows:
  • Reports provided by esa may only be used for employment purposes;
  • The applicant must be notified in advance that a report may be obtained and that if they are denied employment based on the report, they have certain rights under the FCRA.(esa's standard Authorization and Consent form provides the required notification);
  • The applicant must provide written authorization; and
  • esa may not report negative information that is more than seven years old (10 years for bankruptcies) unless the applicant is expected to earn more than $75,000 per year. However, the seven-year limit does not apply to criminal convictions.
     

If adverse action is taken based on information contained in the report, the applicant must be informed verbally, or in writing, and provided the following:

  • esa's name, address and toll free number - (800-706-8848).
  • A statement that esa did not make the adverse decision and is not able to explain why the adverse decision was made.
  • A statement that the applicant has a right to a free disclosure of the report if a request is made to esa within 60 days. (Note: Disclosure includes providing a copy of the credit report and any public record information. Investigative reports, such as interviews with previous employers and references, are not disclosed except for an explanation of the nature and scope of the report.)
  • A statement setting forth the applicant's right to dispute directly with esa the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. If information is inaccurate, it will be corrected or deleted and a revised report will be issued.
     

** 2013 Changes : The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has made a change to three notices required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, effective January 1, 2013. The change directs consumers, furnishers and users of employee background checks to the CFPB instead of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and are part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203, H.R. 4173) that was signed into law on July 21, 2010.

The forms that are being updated are all used in the background screening process, and are required by the FCRA. They include:

"A SUMMARY OF YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE FCRA"

"NOTICE TO USERS OF CONSUMER REPORTS: OBLIGATIONS OF USERS UNDER THE FCRA"

To comply with the new law, you will need to stop using the old forms and notices by January 1, 2013.

 
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