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Fed FTC issue final piece of the FACTA puzzle
WASHINGTON (1/6/10)--The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission announced final rules in late December that represent the final piece of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) implementation puzzle. The new rules implement Section 311 of FACTA. FACTA, in turn, amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in 2003. Credit unions must comply with the new requirements by Jan. 1, 2011. This newest FACTA final rule generally requires a creditor to provide a consumer with a notice when that consumer is receiving credit on less favorable terms than the lender’s other borrowers with better borrowing histories. The risk-based pricing notice requirements apply only to credit that is primarily for personal, household, or family purposes, but not in connection with business credit. The final rules provide creditors with several methods for determining which consumers must receive risk-based pricing notices. Also, as an alternative to providing risk-based pricing notices, the final rules permit creditors to provide consumers who apply for credit with a free credit score and information about their score. The agencies have provided model forms for each of the risk-based pricing notices and alternative credit score disclosures. There is also an exception to the rule for a creditor that provides the consumer with an FCRA adverse action notice in connection with the transaction. The FCRA statute originally called for a Dec. 1, 2004 effective date for the “risk-based pricing” plan, but it has proven to be one of the most controversial rules issued under the Act. For one thing, it was a challenge to try to develop a consensus on terms used in the rule. Also, as expressed by the Credit Union National Association during the proposal process, there were concerns about how to decide who gets the required notices and also how members or customers might react to the notices.
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