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COMMERCE AND TRADE · UNITED STATES CODE
41. CONSUMER CREDIT PROTECTION
Subchapter III. CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES
15 USC § 1681j.
Charges for certain disclosures
(a) Free annual disclosure
(1) Nationwide consumer reporting agencies
(A) In general
All consumer reporting agencies described in subsections (p) and (w) of
section 1681a of this title shall make all disclosures pursuant to section
1681g of this title once during any 12-month period upon request of the
consumer and without charge to the consumer.
(B) Centralized source
Subparagraph (A) shall apply with respect to a consumer reporting agency
described in section 1681a (p) of this title only if the request from the
consumer is made using the centralized source established for such purpose
in accordance with section 211(c)  of the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act of 2003.
(C) Nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency
(i) In general The Commission shall prescribe regulations applicable to
each consumer reporting agency described in section 1681a (w) of this
title to require the establishment of a streamlined process for consumers
to request consumer reports under subparagraph (A), which shall include,
at a minimum, the establishment by each such agency of a toll-free
telephone number for such requests.
(ii) Considerations In prescribing regulations under clause (i), the
Commission shall consider—
(I) the significant demands that may be placed on consumer reporting
agencies in providing such consumer reports;
(II) appropriate means to ensure that consumer reporting agencies can
satisfactorily meet those demands, including the efficacy of a system of
staggering the availability to consumers of such consumer reports; and
(III) the ease by which consumers should be able to contact consumer
reporting agencies with respect to access to such consumer reports.
(iii) Date of issuance The Commission shall issue the regulations
required by this subparagraph in final form not later than 6 months after
December 4, 2003.
(iv) Consideration of ability to comply The regulations of the
Commission under this subparagraph shall establish an effective date by
which each nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency (as defined in
section 1681a (w) of this title) shall be required to comply with
subsection (a) of this section, which effective date—
(I) shall be established after consideration of the ability of each
nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency to comply with subsection
(a) of this section; and
(II) shall be not later than 6 months after the date on which such
regulations are issued in final form (or such additional period not to
exceed 3 months, as the Commission determines appropriate).
A consumer reporting agency shall provide a consumer report under paragraph
(1) not later than 15 days after the date on which the request is received
under paragraph (1).
Notwithstanding the time periods specified in section 1681i (a)(1) of this
title, a reinvestigation under that section by a consumer reporting agency
upon a request of a consumer that is made after receiving a consumer report
under this subsection shall be completed not later than 45 days after the date
on which the request is received.
(4) Exception for first 12 months of operation
This subsection shall not apply to a consumer reporting agency that has not
been furnishing consumer reports to third parties on a continuing basis during
the 12-month period preceding a request under paragraph (1), with respect to
consumers residing nationwide.
(b) Free disclosure after adverse notice to consumer
Each consumer reporting agency that maintains a file on a consumer shall make
all disclosures pursuant to section 1681g of this title without charge to the
consumer if, not later than 60 days after receipt by such consumer of a
notification pursuant to section 1681m of this title, or of a notification from
a debt collection agency affiliated with that consumer reporting agency stating
that the consumer’s credit rating may be or has been adversely affected, the
consumer makes a request under section 1681g of this title.
(c) Free disclosure under certain other circumstances
Upon the request of the consumer, a consumer reporting agency shall make all
disclosures pursuant to section 1681g of this title once during any 12-month
period without charge to that consumer if the consumer certifies in writing that
(1) is unemployed and intends to apply for employment in the 60-day period
beginning on the date on which the certification is made;
(2) is a recipient of public welfare assistance; or
(3) has reason to believe that the file on the consumer at the agency
contains inaccurate information due to fraud.
(d) Free disclosures in connection with fraud alerts
Upon the request of a consumer, a consumer reporting agency described in
section 1681a (p) of this title shall make all disclosures pursuant to section
1681g of this title without charge to the consumer, as provided in subsections
(a)(2) and (b)(2) of section 1681c–1 of this title, as applicable.
(e) Other charges prohibited
A consumer reporting agency shall not impose any charge on a consumer for
providing any notification required by this subchapter or making any disclosure
required by this subchapter, except as authorized by subsection (f) of this
(f) Reasonable charges allowed for certain disclosures
(1) In general
In the case of a request from a consumer other than a request that is
covered by any of subsections (a) through (d) of this section, a consumer
reporting agency may impose a reasonable charge on a consumer—
(A) for making a disclosure to the consumer pursuant to section 1681g of
this title, which charge—
(i) shall not exceed $8; and
(ii) shall be indicated to the consumer before making the disclosure;
(B) for furnishing, pursuant to section 1681i (d) of this title,
following a reinvestigation under section 1681i (a) of this title, a
statement, codification, or summary to a person designated by the consumer
under that section after the 30-day period beginning on the date of
notification of the consumer under paragraph (6) or (8) of section 1681i (a)
of this title with respect to the reinvestigation, which charge—
(i) shall not exceed the charge that the agency would impose on each
designated recipient for a consumer report; and
(ii) shall be indicated to the consumer before furnishing such
(2) Modification of amount
The Federal Trade Commission shall increase the amount referred to in
paragraph (1)(A)(i) on January 1 of each year, based proportionally on changes
in the Consumer Price Index, with fractional changes rounded to the nearest
[Rev. Jan. 3, 2007]