Report Title:

Consumer Protection

Description:

Requires consumer credit reporting agencies to allow consumers to inspect their files. Specifies situations under which agencies may provide reports. Allows consumers to place security alerts in and security freezes on their reports. Prohibits certain information from inclusion in the reports.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1950

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to title 26 to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Chapter

CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES

   -1 Findings and purpose. The legislature finds and declares as follows:

(1) An elaborate mechanism has been developed for investigating and evaluating the credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, and general reputation of consumers;

(2) Consumer credit reporting agencies have assumed a vital role in assembling and evaluating consumer credit and other information on consumers;

(3) There is a need to insure that consumer credit reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer's right to privacy;

(4) It is the purpose of this chapter to require that consumer credit reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, rental of a dwelling unit, and other information in a manner that is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this chapter;

(5) The legislature hereby intends to regulate consumer credit reporting agencies under this chapter in a manner that will best protect the interests of the people of the State;

(6) The extension of credit is a privilege and not a right. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude a creditor from denying credit to any applicant provided such denial is based on factors not inconsistent with law; and

(7) Any clauses in contracts that prohibit any action required by this chapter is not in the public interest and shall be considered unenforceable. This shall not invalidate the other terms of such a contract.

   -2 Short title. This chapter may be cited as the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.

   -3 Definitions. The following terms as used in this chapter have the meaning expressed in this section:

"Adverse action":

(1) Means a denial or revocation of credit, a change in the terms of an existing credit arrangement that is adverse to the interests of the consumer, or a refusal to grant credit in substantially the amount or on substantially the terms requested. "Adverse action" includes all of the following:

(A) Any denial of, increase in any charge for, or reduction in the amount of, insurance for personal, family, or household purposes made in connection with the underwriting of insurance;

(B) Any denial of employment or any other decision made for employment purposes that adversely affects any current or prospective employee; or

(C) Any action taken, or determination made, with respect to a consumer for an application for an extension of credit or an application for the rental of a dwelling unit that is adverse to the interests of the consumer; and

(2) Does not include:

(A) A refusal to extend additional credit to a consumer under an existing credit arrangement if the applicant is delinquent or otherwise in default under that credit arrangement or the additional credit would exceed a credit limit previously established for the consumer; or

(B) A refusal or failure to authorize an account transaction at a point of sale.

"Consumer" means a natural individual.

"Consumer credit report" means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer credit reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, that is used or is expected to be used, or collected in whole or in part, for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for:

(1) Credit to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;

(2) Employment purposes;

(3) Rental of a dwelling unit; or

(4) Other purposes authorized by the director of commerce and consumer affairs.

"Consumer credit reporting agency" means any person who, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the business of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to third parties, but does not include any governmental agency whose records are maintained primarily for traffic safety, law enforcement, or licensing purposes.

"Credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer" does not include the use of a consumer credit report by an assignee for collection or by a person with which the consumer has an account for purposes of reviewing the account or collecting the account.

"Employment purposes" means a report used for the purpose of evaluating a consumer for employment, promotion, reassignment, or retention as an employee.

"File" means all of the information on that consumer recorded and retained by a consumer credit reporting agency, regardless of how the information is stored.

"Firm offer of credit" means any offer of credit to a consumer that will be honored if, based on information in a consumer credit report on the consumer and other information bearing on the creditworthiness of the consumer, the consumer is determined to meet the criteria used to select the consumer for the offer and the consumer is able to provide any real property collateral specified in the offer.

"Item of information" means any one or more informative entries in a credit report that causes a creditor to deny credit to an applicant or increase the cost of credit to an applicant or deny an applicant a checking account with a bank or other financial institution.

"Person" means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.

   -4 Inspection of files. (a) Every consumer credit reporting agency, upon request and proper identification of any consumer, shall allow the consumer to visually inspect all files maintained regarding that consumer at the time of the request.

(b) Every consumer reporting agency, upon contact by a consumer by telephone, mail, or in person regarding information that may be contained in the agency files regarding that consumer, shall promptly advise the consumer of the consumer's rights under this chapter and of the obligation of the agency to provide disclosure of the files in person, by mail, or by telephone. The disclosure shall be provided in the manner selected by the consumer, chosen from among any reasonable means available to the consumer credit reporting agency.

(c) All information on a consumer in the files of a consumer credit reporting agency at the time of a request for inspection shall be available for inspection, including the names, addresses and, if provided by the sources of information, the telephone numbers identified for customer service for the sources of information.

(d) The consumer credit reporting agency shall also disclose the recipients of any consumer credit report on the consumer which the consumer credit reporting agency has furnished within the two-year period preceding the request. Disclosure of recipients of consumer credit reports shall include the name of the recipient or, if applicable, the fictitious business name under which the recipient does business, the address and, if provided by the recipient, the telephone number identified for customer service for the recipient.

(e) The consumer credit reporting agency shall also disclose a record of all inquiries received by the agency in the twelve-month period preceding the request that identified the consumer in connection with a credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer. This record of inquiries shall include the name, address and, if provided by the recipient, the telephone number identified for customer service for each recipient making an inquiry.

   -5 Furnishing of reports and information. (a) A consumer credit reporting agency shall furnish a consumer credit report only under the following circumstances:

(1) In response to an order of a court having jurisdiction to issue the order;

(2) In accordance with the written instructions of the consumer to whom it relates; or

(3) To a person whom it has reason to believe:

(A) Intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction, or entering or enforcing an order of support of a court of competent jurisdiction;

(B) Involves the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer;

(C) Intends to use the information for employment purposes;

(D) Intends to use the information in connection with the underwriting of insurance involving the consumer, or for insurance claims settlements;

(E) Intends to use the information in connection with a determination of the consumer's eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmental instrumentality required by law to consider the applicant's financial responsibility or status;

(F) Intends to use the information in connection with the rental of a dwelling unit; or

(G) Otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information in connection with a business transaction involving the consumer.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency may furnish information for purposes of a credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer only as follows:

(1) The consumer authorizes the consumer credit reporting agency to furnish the consumer credit report to the person; or

(2) The proposed transaction involves a firm offer of credit to the consumer, the consumer credit reporting agency has complied with subsection (e), and the consumer has not elected under subsection (d) to have the consumer's name excluded from lists of names provided by the consumer credit reporting agency for purposes of reporting in connection with the potential issuance of firm offers of credit. A consumer credit reporting agency may provide only the following information under this paragraph:

(A) The name and address of the consumer; and

(B) Information pertaining to a consumer that is not identified or identifiable with a particular consumer.

(c) Except as otherwise provided, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not furnish to any person a record of inquiries solely resulting from credit transactions that are not initiated by the consumer.

(d) A consumer may elect to have the consumer's name and address excluded from any list provided by a consumer credit reporting agency by notifying the consumer credit reporting agency, by telephone or in writing, through the notification system maintained by the consumer credit reporting agency, that the consumer does not consent to any use of consumer credit reports relating to the consumer in connection with any credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer.

An election of a consumer shall be effective with respect to a consumer credit reporting agency, and any affiliate of the consumer credit reporting agency, on the date on which the consumer notifies the consumer credit reporting agency.

An election of a consumer shall terminate and be of no force or effect following notice from the consumer to the consumer credit reporting agency that the election is no longer effective.

(e) A consumer credit reporting agency that furnishes a prequalifying report in connection with a credit transaction not initiated by the consumer shall establish and maintain a notification system, including a toll-free telephone number, that permits a consumer, with appropriate identification and for which the consumer credit reporting agency has a file, to notify the consumer credit reporting agency of the consumer's election to have the consumer's name removed from any list of names and addresses provided by the consumer credit reporting agency, and by any affiliated consumer credit reporting agency. Compliance with the requirements of this subsection by a consumer credit reporting agency shall constitute compliance with those requirements by any affiliate of that consumer credit reporting agency.

(f) Any consumer credit reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis shall establish and maintain a notification system under subsection (e) jointly with its affiliated consumer credit reporting agencies.

   -6 Security alerts. (a) A consumer may elect to place a security alert in the consumer's credit report by making a request in writing or by telephone to a consumer credit reporting agency. "Security alert" means a notice placed in a consumer's credit report, at the request of the consumer, that notifies a recipient of the credit report that the consumer's identity may have been used without the consumer's consent to fraudulently obtain goods or services in the consumer's name.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency shall notify each person requesting consumer credit information with respect to a consumer of the existence of a security alert in the credit report of that consumer, regardless of whether a full credit report, credit score, or summary report is requested.

(c) Each consumer credit reporting agency shall maintain a toll-free telephone number to accept security alert requests from consumers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free telephone number shall be included in any written disclosure made by a consumer credit reporting agency to a consumer and shall be printed in a clear and conspicuous manner.

(d) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security alert on a consumer's credit report no later than five business days after receiving a request from the consumer. The security alert shall remain in place for at least ninety days, and a consumer shall have the right to request a renewal of the security alert.

   -7 Security freezes. (a) A consumer may elect to place a security freeze on the consumer's credit report by making a request in writing, sent by certified mail to a consumer credit reporting agency. "Security freeze" means a notice placed in a consumer's credit report, at the request of the consumer, that prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer's credit report or any item of information from it without the express authorization of the consumer. If a security freeze is in effect, information from a consumer's credit report may not be released to a third party without prior express authorization from the consumer, provided that a consumer credit reporting agency is not prevented from advising a third party that a security freeze is in effect with respect to the consumer's credit report.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze on a consumer's credit report no later than five business days after receiving a written request from the consumer.

(c) The consumer credit reporting agency shall send written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within ten business days and shall provide the consumer with a unique personal identification number or password to be used by the consumer when providing authorization for the release of the consumer's credit report for a specific party or period of time.

(d) If the consumer wishes to allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for a specific party or period of time while a security freeze is in effect, the consumer shall contact the consumer credit reporting agency, request that the freeze be temporarily lifted, and provide the following:

(1) Proper identification;

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting agency; and

(3) Information regarding the third party who is to receive the credit report or the time period for which the report shall be available to users of the credit report.

(e) A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report, shall comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the request.

(f) A consumer credit reporting agency may develop procedures to allow the use of telephone, fax, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process requests from consumers to temporarily lift a security freeze on a credit report.

(g) A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove or temporarily lift a security freeze placed on a consumer's credit report only in the following cases:

(1) Upon consumer request; or

(2) If the consumer's credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer and the consumer credit reporting agency notifies the consumer in writing prior to removing the freeze on the consumer's credit report.

(h) If a third party requests access to a consumer credit report while a security freeze is in effect, and this request is in connection with an application for credit or any other use, and the consumer does not allow the consumer's credit report to be accessed for that specific party or period of time, the third party may treat the application as incomplete.

(i) If a consumer requests a security freeze, the consumer credit reporting agency shall disclose the process for placing and temporarily lifting the security freeze, and the process for allowing access to information from the consumer's credit report for a specific party or period of time while the freeze is in effect.

(j) A security freeze shall remain in effect until the consumer requests that the security freeze be removed. A consumer credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze within three business days of receiving a request for removal from the consumer, who provides both of the following:

(1) Proper identification; and

(2) The unique personal identification number or password provided by the credit reporting agency.

   -8 Exemptions from security alerts and security freezes. The following entities are not required to place in a credit report either a security alert or a security freeze:

(1) A check services or fraud prevention services company, that issues reports on incidents of fraud or authorizations for the purpose of approving or processing negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers, or similar methods of payments; or

(2) A demand deposit account information service company, that issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, automatic teller machine abuse, or similar negative information regarding a consumer, to inquiring banks or other financial institutions for use only in reviewing a consumer request for a demand deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution.

   -9 Consumer credit reports; prohibited information. (a) No consumer credit reporting agency shall include any of the following items of information in a consumer credit report:

(1) Bankruptcies that, from the date of adjudication, antedate the report by more than ten years;

(2) Suits and judgments that, from the date of entry or renewal, antedate the report by more than seven years or until the governing statute of limitations has expired, whichever is the longer period;

(3) Unlawful detainer actions, unless the lessor was the prevailing party;

(4) Paid tax liens that, from the date of payment, antedate the report by more than seven years;

(5) Accounts placed for collection or charged to profit and loss that antedate the report by more than seven years;

(6) Records of arrest, indictment, information, misdemeanor complaint, or conviction of a crime that, from the date of disposition, release, or parole, antedate the report by more than seven years; or

(7) Any other adverse information that antedates the report by more than seven years.

(b) The seven-year period specified above shall commence to run, with respect to any account that is placed for collection, charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the one hundred eighty-day period beginning on the date of the commencement of the delinquency that immediately preceded the collection activity, charge to profit and loss, or similar action. Where more than one of these actions is taken with respect to a particular account, the seven-year period shall commence concurrently for all these actions on the date of the first of these actions.

(c) A consumer credit reporting agency that furnishes a consumer credit report containing information regarding any case involving a consumer arising under the bankruptcy provisions of Title 11 of the United States Code shall include the chapter of Title 11 of the United States Code under which the case arose if that information was provided to the consumer credit reporting agency by the source of the information.

(d) A consumer credit report shall not include any adverse information concerning a consumer that is otherwise prohibited from being included in a consumer credit report.

(e) If a consumer credit reporting agency is notified by a furnisher of credit information that an open-end credit account of the consumer has been closed by the consumer, any consumer credit report thereafter issued by the consumer credit reporting agency with respect to that consumer, and that includes information respecting that account, shall indicate the fact that the consumer has closed the account. For purposes of this subsection, "open-end credit account" does not include any demand deposit account, such as a checking account, money market account, or share draft account.

(f) A consumer credit reporting agency shall not include medical information in its files on consumers or furnish medical information for employment, insurance, or credit purposes in a consumer credit report without the consent of the consumer.

(g) A consumer credit reporting agency shall include in any consumer credit report information, if any, on the failure of the consumer to pay overdue child or spousal support, where the information was verified by a federal, state, or local governmental agency.

   -10 Data control. (a) Every consumer credit reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures designed to avoid violations of section    -9 and to limit furnishing of consumer credit reports to the purposes listed under section    -5. These procedures shall require that prospective users of the information identify themselves, certify the purposes for which the information is sought, and certify that the information will be used for no other purposes. The consumer credit reporting agency shall keep a record of the purposes as stated by the user. Every consumer credit reporting agency shall make a reasonable effort to verify the identity of a new prospective user and the uses certified by the prospective user prior to furnishing the user a consumer credit report.

No consumer credit reporting agency may furnish a consumer credit report to any person unless the consumer credit reporting agency has reasonable grounds for believing that the consumer credit report will be used by the person for the purposes listed in section    -5. A consumer credit reporting agency does not have reasonable grounds for believing that a consumer credit report will be used by the person for the purposes listed in section    -5 unless all of the following requirements are met:

(1) If the prospective user is a retail seller and intends to issue credit to a consumer, who appears in person, on the basis of an application for credit submitted in person:

(A) The consumer credit reporting agency, with a reasonable degree of certainty, shall match at least three categories of identifying information within the file maintained by the consumer credit reporting agency on the consumer with the information provided to the consumer credit reporting agency by the retail seller. The categories of identifying information may include but are not limited to first and last name, month and date of birth, driver's license number, place of employment, current residence address, previous residence address, or social security number. The categories of information shall not include mother's maiden name; and

(B) The retail seller certifies, in writing, to the consumer credit reporting agency that it instructs its employees and agents to inspect a photo identification of the consumer at the time the application was submitted in person; and

(2) If the prospective user intends to extend credit by mail under a solicitation by mail, the extension of credit shall be mailed to the same address as on the solicitation unless the prospective user verifies any address change by, among other methods, contacting the person to whom the extension of credit will be mailed.

(b) Whenever a consumer credit reporting agency prepares a consumer credit report, it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates. These reasonable procedures shall include but not be limited to permanent retention by the consumer credit reporting agency in the consumer's file, or a separately individualized file, of that portion of the data in the file that is used by the consumer credit reporting agency to identify the individual consumer under subsection (a). This permanently retained data shall be available for use in either a reinvestigation or an investigation under section    -14, or a restoration of a file involving the consumer. If the permanently retained identifying information is retained in a consumer's file, it shall be clearly identified in the file in order for an individual who reviews the file to easily distinguish between the permanently stored identifying information and any other identifying information that may be a part of the file. This retention requirement shall not apply to data that is reported in error, that is obsolete, or that is found to be inaccurate through the results of a reinvestigation initiated by a consumer.

(c) No consumer credit reporting agency may prohibit any user of any consumer credit report furnished by the consumer credit reporting agency from disclosing the contents of the consumer credit report to the consumer who is the subject of the report if adverse action may be taken by the user based in whole or in part on the consumer credit report. The act of disclosure to the consumer by the user of the contents of a consumer credit report shall not be a basis for liability of the consumer credit reporting agency or the user under section    -31.

(d) A consumer credit reporting agency shall provide a written notice to any person who regularly and in the ordinary course of business supplies information to the consumer credit reporting agency concerning any consumer or to whom a consumer credit report is provided by the consumer credit reporting agency. The notice shall specify the person's obligations under this chapter. Copies of the appropriate statutory sections shall satisfy the requirement of this subsection.

   -11 Access to files. (a) A consumer credit reporting agency shall supply the requisite files and information during normal business hours and on reasonable notice. In addition to the disclosure provided by this chapter and any disclosures received by the consumer, the consumer has the right to request and receive all of the following:

(1) Either a decoded written version of the file or a written copy of the file, including all information in the file at the time of the request, with an explanation of any code used;

(2) A credit score for the consumer, the key factors, and the related information;

(3) A record of all inquiries, by recipient, that result in the provision of information concerning the consumer in connection with a credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer and that were received by the consumer credit reporting agency in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the request for disclosure under this section;

(4) The recipients of any consumer credit report on the consumer which the consumer credit reporting agency has furnished:

(A) For employment purposes within the two-year period preceding the request; or

(B) For any other purpose within the twelve-month period preceding the request.

(b) Files maintained on a consumer shall be disclosed promptly as follows:

(1) In person, at the location where the consumer credit reporting agency maintains trained personnel;

(2) By mail, if the consumer makes a written request with proper identification for a copy of the file or a decoded written version of that file to be sent to the consumer at a specified address;

(3) A summary of all information contained in files on a consumer and required to be provided by section    -10 shall be provided by telephone, if the consumer has made a written request, with proper identification for telephone disclosure; or

(4) Information in a consumer's file required to be provided in writing under this section may also be disclosed in another form if authorized by the consumer and if available from the consumer credit reporting agency.

(c) As used in this section, "proper identification" means that information generally deemed sufficient to identify a person. Only if the consumer is unable to reasonably identify oneself with the information described above, may a consumer credit reporting agency require additional information concerning the consumer's employment and personal or family history in order to verify the consumer's identity.

(d) The consumer credit reporting agency shall provide trained personnel to explain to the consumer any information furnished under section    -10.

(e) The consumer shall be permitted to be accompanied by any other person, who shall furnish reasonable identification. A consumer credit reporting agency may require the consumer to furnish a written statement granting permission to the consumer credit reporting agency to discuss the consumer's file in that person's presence.

(f) Any written disclosure by a consumer credit reporting agency to any consumer under this section shall include a written summary of all rights the consumer has under this chapter and in the case of a consumer credit reporting agency that compiles and maintains consumer credit reports on a nationwide basis, a toll-free telephone number which the consumer can use to communicate with the consumer credit reporting agency. The written summary of rights required under this subsection is sufficient if in substantially the following form:

"You have a right to obtain a copy of your credit file from a consumer credit reporting agency. You may be charged a reasonable fee not exceeding eight dollars. There is no fee, however, if you have been turned down for credit, employment, insurance, or a rental dwelling because of information in your credit report within the preceding sixty days. The consumer credit reporting agency must provide someone to help you interpret the information in your credit file.

You have a right to dispute inaccurate information by contacting the consumer credit reporting agency directly. However, neither you nor any credit repair company or credit service organization has the right to have accurate, current, and verifiable information removed from your credit report. Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the consumer credit reporting agency must remove accurate, negative information from your report only if it is over seven years old. Bankruptcy information can be reported for ten years.

If you have notified a consumer credit reporting agency in writing that you dispute the accuracy of information in your file, the consumer credit reporting agency must then, within thirty business days, reinvestigate and modify or remove inaccurate information. The consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee for this service. Any pertinent information and copies of all documents you have concerning an error should be given to the consumer credit reporting agency.

If reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute to your satisfaction, you may send a brief statement to the consumer credit reporting agency to keep in your file, explaining why you think the record is inaccurate. The consumer credit reporting agency must include your statement about disputed information in a report it issues about you.

You have a right to receive a record of all inquiries relating to a credit transaction initiated in twelve months preceding your request. This record shall include the recipients of any consumer credit report.

You may request in writing that the information contained in your file not be provided to a third party for marketing purposes.

You have a right to place a "security alert" in your credit report, that will warn anyone who receives information in your credit report that your identity may have been used without your consent and that recipients of your credit report are advised, but not required, to verify your identity prior to issuing credit. The security alert may prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that taking advantage of this right may delay or interfere with the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale. If you place a security alert on your credit report, you have a right to obtain a free copy of your credit report at the time the ninety-day security alert period expires. A security alert may be requested by calling the following toll-free telephone number: (Insert applicable toll-free telephone number).

You have a right to place a "security freeze" on your credit report, that will prohibit a consumer credit reporting agency from releasing any information in your credit report without your express authorization. A security freeze must be requested in writing by certified mail. The security freeze is designed to prevent credit, loans, and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that using a security freeze to take control over who gets access to the personal and financial information in your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prohibit the timely approval of any subsequent request or application you make regarding a new loan, credit, mortgage, insurance, government services or payments, rental housing, employment, investment, license, cellular phone, utilities, digital signature, Internet credit card transaction, or other services, including an extension of credit at point of sale. When you place a security freeze on your credit report, you will be provided a personal identification number or password to use if you choose to remove the freeze on your credit report or authorize the release of your credit report for a specific party or period of time after the freeze is in place. To provide that authorization you must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:

(1) The personal identification number or password.

(2) Proper identification to verify your identity.

(3) The proper information regarding the third party who is to receive the credit report or the period of time for which the report shall be available.

A consumer credit reporting agency must authorize the release of your credit report no later than three business days after receiving the above information.

A security freeze shall not apply to a person or entity, or its affiliates, or collection agencies acting on behalf of the person or entity, with which you have an existing account, that requests information in your credit report for the purposes of reviewing or collecting the account. Reviewing the account includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

You have a right to bring civil action against anyone, including a consumer credit reporting agency, who improperly obtains access to a file, knowingly or wilfully misuses file data, or fails to correct inaccurate file data.

If you are a victim of identity theft and provide to a consumer credit reporting agency a copy of a valid police report, the following shall apply:

(1) You have a right to have any information you list on the report as allegedly fraudulent promptly blocked so that the information cannot be reported. The information will be unblocked only if the information you provide is a material misrepresentation of the facts, you agree that the information is blocked in error, or you knowingly obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as result of the blocked transactions. If blocked information is unblocked you will be promptly notified.

(2) Beginning July 1, 2004, you have a right to receive, free of charge and upon request, one copy of your credit report each month for up to twelve consecutive months."

   -12 Access to credit scores. (a) Upon the consumer's request for a credit score, a consumer credit reporting agency shall supply to a consumer a notice that shall include the information described in this subsection, and a statement indicating that the information and credit scoring model may be different than the credit score that may be used by the lender. However, if the consumer requests the credit file and not the credit score, then the consumer shall receive the credit file and a statement that the consumer may request and obtain a credit score. The required information is as follows:

(1) The consumer's current credit score or the consumer's most recent credit score that was previously calculated by the credit reporting agency for a purpose related to the extension of credit;

(2) The range of possible credit scores under the model used;

(3) All the key factors that adversely affected the consumer's credit score in the model used, the total number of that shall not exceed four;

(4) The date the credit score was created; and

(5) The name of the person or entity that provided the credit score or credit file upon which the credit score was created.

(b) For purposes of this chapter, "credit score" means a numerical value or a categorization derived from a statistical tool or modeling system used by a person who makes or arranges a loan to predict the likelihood of certain credit behaviors, including default. The numerical value or the categorization derived from this analysis may also be referred to as a "risk predictor" or "risk score". "Credit score" does not include any mortgage score or rating of an automated underwriting system that considers one or more factors in addition to credit information, including but not limited to the loan to value ratio, the amount of downpayment, or a consumer's financial assets. "Credit score" does not include other elements of the underwriting process or underwriting decision.

(c) For the purposes of this section, "key factors" means all relevant elements or reasons adversely affecting the credit score for the particular consumer listed in the order of their importance based on their effect on the credit score.

   -13 Description of rights. (a) In addition to any other rights the consumer may have under this chapter, every consumer credit reporting agency, after being contacted by telephone, mail, or in person by any consumer who has reason to believe the consumer may be a victim of identity theft, shall promptly provide to that consumer a statement, written in a clear and conspicuous manner, describing the statutory rights of victims of identity theft under this chapter.

(b) Every consumer credit reporting agency, upon the receipt from a victim of identity theft of a police report, shall provide the victim, free of charge and upon request, with up to twelve copies of the consumer's file during a consecutive twelve-month period, not to exceed one copy per month, following the date of the police report.

   -14 Disputed information. (a) If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in the consumer's file is disputed by a consumer, and the dispute is conveyed directly to the consumer credit reporting agency by the consumer or user on behalf of the consumer, the consumer credit reporting agency, without charge, shall reinvestigate and record the current status of the disputed information within thirty business days of the date the agency receives notice of the dispute from the consumer or user, unless the consumer credit reporting agency has reasonable grounds to believe and determines that the dispute by the consumer is frivolous or irrelevant. The consumer credit reporting agency shall notify any person who provided information in dispute of the reinvestigation within five business days of receiving the dispute, at the address and in the manner specified by the provider of the information. A consumer credit reporting agency may require that disputes by consumers be in writing.

(b) In conducting a reinvestigation the consumer credit reporting agency shall review and consider all relevant information submitted by the consumer with respect to the disputed item of information.

If the consumer credit reporting agency determines that the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant, it shall notify the consumer by mail or, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the consumer credit reporting agency, within five business days after that determination is made that it is terminating its reinvestigation of the item of information. In this notification, the consumer credit reporting agency shall state the specific reasons why it has determined that the consumer's dispute is frivolous or irrelevant.

If the disputed item of information is found to be inaccurate, missing, or can no longer be verified by the evidence submitted, the consumer credit reporting agency shall promptly add, correct, or delete that information from the consumer's file.

(c) No information may be reinserted in a consumer's file after having been deleted pursuant to this section unless the person who furnished the information certifies that the information is accurate.

If any information deleted from a consumer's file is reinserted in the file, the consumer credit reporting agency shall notify the consumer within five business days of the reinsertion in writing or, if authorized by the consumer for that purpose, by any other means available to the consumer credit reporting agency. As part of, or in addition to, this notice the consumer credit reporting agency shall provide the consumer in writing:

(1) A statement that the disputed information has been reinserted;

(2) A notice that the agency will provide to the consumer, within fifteen days following a request, the name, address, and telephone number of any furnisher of information contacted or that contacted the consumer credit reporting agency in connection with the reinsertion;

(3) The toll-free telephone number of the consumer credit reporting agency that the consumer can use to obtain this name, address, and telephone number; and

(4) A notice that the consumer has the right to a reinvestigation of the information reinserted by the consumer credit reporting agency and to add a statement to the consumer's file disputing the accuracy or completeness of the information.

(d) A consumer credit reporting agency shall provide written notice to the consumer of the results of any reinvestigation within five days of completion of the reinvestigation.

(e) The presence of information in the consumer's file that contradicts the contention of the consumer shall not, in and of itself, constitute reasonable grounds for believing the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant.

(f) If the consumer credit reporting agency determines that the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant, or if the reinvestigation does not resolve the dispute, or if the information is reinserted into the consumer's file under subsection (c), the consumer may file a brief statement setting forth the nature of the dispute. The consumer credit reporting agency may limit these statements to not more than one hundred words if it provides the consumer with assistance in writing a clear summary of the dispute.

(g) Whenever a statement of dispute is filed, the consumer credit reporting agency, in any subsequent consumer credit report containing the information in question, shall clearly note that the information is disputed by the consumer and shall include in the report either the consumer's statement or a clear and accurate summary thereof.

(h) Following the deletion of information from a consumer's file under this section, or following the filing of a statement of dispute under subsection (f), the consumer credit reporting agency, at the request of the consumer, shall furnish notification that the item of information has been deleted or that the item of information is disputed. In the case of disputed information, the notification shall include the statement or summary of the dispute filed under subsection (f). The notification shall be furnished to any person designated by the consumer who:

(1) Within two years prior to the deletion or the filing of the dispute, has received a consumer credit report concerning the consumer for employment purposes; or

(2) Within twelve months of the deletion or the filing of the dispute, has received a consumer credit report concerning the consumer for any other purpose,

if these consumer credit reports contained the deleted or disputed information. The consumer credit reporting agency shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the consumer the consumer's rights to make a request for this notification at or prior to the time the information is deleted pursuant to this section or the consumer's statement regarding the disputed information is filed under subsection (f).

(i) A consumer credit reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures to prevent the reappearance in a consumer's file and in consumer credit reports of items of information that have been deleted pursuant to this section and not reinserted under subsection (c).

(j) If the consumer's dispute is resolved by deletion of the disputed information within three business days, beginning with the day the consumer credit reporting agency receives notice of the dispute in accordance with subsection (a), and provided that verification thereof is provided to the consumer in writing within five business days following the deletion, then the consumer credit reporting agency shall be exempt from requirements for further action under subsections (d), (f), and (g).

(k) If a consumer submits to a consumer credit reporting agency a copy of a valid police report that the consumer has been a victim of identity theft, the consumer credit reporting agency shall promptly and permanently block any item of information that the consumer alleges appears on the consumer's credit report as a result of identity theft so that the information cannot be reported. The consumer credit reporting agency shall promptly notify the furnisher of the information that the information has been so blocked.

The permanently blocked information shall be unblocked only upon a preponderance of the evidence that:

(1) The information was blocked due to a material misrepresentation of fact or fraud by the consumer;

(2) The consumer agrees that the blocked information, or portions of the blocked information, were blocked in error; or

(3) The consumer knowingly obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions or the consumer should have known that the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions.

If blocked information is unblocked, the consumer shall be promptly notified in the same manner as consumers are notified of the reinsertion of information under subsection (c).

The prior presence of the blocked information in the consumer credit reporting agency's file on the consumer is not evidence of whether the consumer knew or should have known that the consumer obtained possession of any goods, services, or moneys. For the purposes of this subsection, fraud may be demonstrated by circumstantial evidence.

In unblocking information under this subsection, furnishers of information and consumer credit reporting agencies shall be subject to their respective requirements under this chapter regarding the completeness and accuracy of information. A consumer credit reporting agency shall also comply with all requirements of this section and 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681i relating to reinvestigating disputed information.

(l) A consumer credit reporting agency shall accept the consumer's version of the disputed information and correct or delete the disputed information when the consumer submits to the consumer credit reporting agency documentation obtained from either the source of the item in dispute or from public records confirming that the report was inaccurate or incomplete, unless the consumer credit reporting agency, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable judgment, has substantial reason based on specific, verifiable facts to doubt the authenticity of the documentation submitted and notifies the consumer in writing of that decision and setting forth the specific, verifiable facts on which the decision was based.

(m) Any provision in a contract that prohibits the disclosure of a credit score by a person who makes or arranges loans or a consumer credit reporting agency is void. A lender shall not have liability under any contractual provision for disclosure of a credit score.

   -15 Deletion of inquiries from reports. A consumer credit reporting agency shall delete from a consumer credit report inquiries for credit reports based upon credit requests that the consumer credit reporting agency verifies were initiated as the result of identity theft.

   -16 Sale of debt to debt collector. (a) No creditor may sell a consumer debt to a debt collector, as defined in 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692a, if the consumer is a victim of identity theft, and with respect to that debt, the creditor has received notice under section    -14.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to a creditor's sale of a debt to a subsidiary or affiliate of the creditor, if, with respect to that debt, the subsidiary or affiliate does not take any action to collect the debt.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the requirement in 15 U.S.C. sec. 1692a, that a person must use an instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in the collection of any debt to be considered a debt collector, shall not apply.

   -17 Charges for disclosures and notifications. Except as otherwise provided, a consumer credit reporting agency may impose a reasonable charge upon a consumer for services.

   -18 Reporting of information in public records. (a) Each consumer credit reporting agency that compiles and reports items of information concerning consumers that are matters of public record, shall specify in any report containing public record information the source from which that information was obtained, including the particular court, if any, and the date that the information was initially reported or publicized.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency that furnishes a consumer credit report for employment purposes, and that includes public record information likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer's ability to obtain employment, in addition, shall maintain strict procedures designed to ensure that the information is complete and up to date. For purposes of this subsection, items of information relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if it includes the most current public record available at the time of the report.

(c) No consumer credit reporting agency that furnishes a consumer credit report for employment purposes shall report information on the age, marital status, race, color, or creed of any consumer.

   -19 Civil remedies. (a) In addition to section    -31, a consumer may bring an action for a civil penalty, not to exceed $2,500, against any of the following:

(1) A person who knowingly and wilfully obtains access to a consumer's file without authorization;

(2) A person who knowingly and wilfully obtains data from a consumer's file without authorization; or

(3) A person who uses the data received from a consumer's file in a manner contrary to an agreement with the consumer credit reporting agency.

The action may also be brought by the person or entity responsible for the file accessed.

(b) If a plaintiff prevails in an action under subsection (a) the plaintiff shall be awarded the civil penalty, costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

   -20 Third-party access to files. Every consumer credit reporting agency, upon written request and the furnishing of sufficient identification to identify the consumer and the subject file, shall create reasonable procedures to prevent a consumer credit report or information from a consumer's file from being provided to any third party for marketing purposes or for any offer of credit not requested by the consumer. This section shall not apply to the use of information by a credit grantor for purposes related to an existing credit relationship.

   -21 Adverse actions against consumers. (a) If any person takes any adverse action with respect to any consumer, and the adverse action is based, in whole or in part, on any information contained in a consumer credit report, that person shall do all of the following:

(1) Provide written notice of the adverse action to the consumer;

(2) Provide the consumer with the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer credit reporting agency that furnished the report to the person;

(3) Provide a statement that the credit grantor's decision to take adverse action was based in whole or in part upon information contained in a consumer credit report; and

(4) Provide the consumer with a written notice of the following rights of the consumer:

(A) The right of the consumer to obtain within sixty days a free copy of the consumer's credit report from the consumer credit reporting agency and from any other consumer credit reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis; and

(B) The right of the consumer to dispute the accuracy or completeness of any information in a consumer credit report furnished by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(b) Whenever credit or insurance for personal, family, or household purposes involving a consumer is denied or the charge for such credit is increased either wholly or in part because of information obtained from a person other than a consumer credit reporting agency bearing upon consumer's credit worthiness or credit standing, the user of that information, within a reasonable period of time, and upon the consumer's written request for the reasons for that adverse action received within sixty days after learning of the adverse action, shall disclose the nature and substance of the information to the consumer. The user of the information shall clearly and accurately disclose to the consumer the consumer's right to make such a written request at the time the adverse action is communicated to the consumer.

(c) No person shall be held liable for any violation of this section if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the alleged violation the person maintained reasonable procedures to assure compliance with this section.

   -22 Credit transactions not initiated by consumer. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), any person who uses a consumer credit report in connection with any credit transaction not initiated by the consumer and that consists of a firm offer of credit shall provide with any solicitation made to the consumer a clear and conspicuous statement as to all of the following:

(1) Information contained in the consumer's prequalifying report was used in connection with the transaction;

(2) The consumer received the offer of credit, because the consumer satisfied the criteria for creditworthiness under which the consumer was selected for the offer;

(3) Where applicable, the credit may not be extended if, after the consumer responds to the offer, the consumer does not meet the criteria used to select the consumer for the offer; and

(4) The consumer has a right to prohibit use of information contained in the consumer's file with any consumer credit reporting agency in connection with any credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer.

(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to any person using a prequalifying report if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The person using the prequalifying report is affiliated by common ownership or common corporate control with the person who procured the report;

(2) The person who procures the prequalifying report from the consumer credit reporting agency clearly and conspicuously discloses to the consumer to whom the report relates, before the prequalifying report is provided to the person who uses the report, that the prequalifying report might be provided to, and used by, persons affiliated by common ownership or common corporate control with the person that procured the report; and

(3) The consumer consents in writing to this provision and use of the prequalifying report.

(c) No person shall be denied credit on the basis of the consumer's refusal to provide consent unless that consent is necessary for the extension of credit, related to that transaction, by an affiliate.

   -23 Use of consumer credit score for loans secured by real property. Any person who makes or arranges loans and who uses a consumer credit score in connection with an application initiated or sought by a consumer for a closed end loan or establishment of an open end loan for a consumer purpose that is secured by one to four units of residential real property shall provide the following to the consumer as soon as reasonably practicable:

(1) A copy of the information that was obtained from a consumer credit reporting agency or was developed and used by the user of the information. In addition to the information provided to it by a third party that provided the credit score or scores, a lender is only required to provide the notice contained in paragraph (4);

(2) If a person who is subject to this section uses an automated underwriting system to underwrite a loan, that person may satisfy the obligation to provide a credit score by disclosing a credit score and associated key factors supplied by a consumer credit reporting agency. However, if a numerical credit score is generated by an automated underwriting system used by an enterprise, and that score is disclosed to the person, it shall be disclosed to the consumer consistent with paragraph (3);

(3) A person subject to this paragraph who uses a credit score other than a credit score provided by a consumer credit reporting agency may satisfy the obligation to provide a credit score by disclosing a credit score and associated key factors supplied by a consumer credit reporting agency; and

(4) A copy of the following notice, which shall include the name, address, and telephone number of each credit bureau providing a credit score that was used:

"NOTICE TO THE HOME LOAN APPLICANT

In connection with your application for a home loan, the lender must disclose to you the score that a credit bureau distributed to users and the lender used in connection with your home loan, and the key factors affecting your credit scores.

The credit score is a computer generated summary calculated at the time of the request and based on information a credit bureau or lender has on file. The scores are based on data about your credit history and payment patterns. Credit scores are important because they are used to assist the lender in determining whether you will obtain a loan. They may also be used to determine what interest rate you may be offered on the mortgage. Credit scores can change over time, depending on your conduct, how your credit history and payment patterns change, and how credit scoring technologies change.

Because the score is based on information in your credit history, it is very important that you review the credit-related information that is being furnished to make sure it is accurate. Credit records may vary from one company to another.

If you have questions about your credit score or the credit information that is furnished to you, contact the credit bureau at the address and telephone number provided with this notice, or contact the lender, if the lender developed or generated the credit score. The credit bureau plays no part in the decision to take any action on the loan application and is unable to provide you with specific reasons for the decision on a loan application.

If you have questions concerning the terms of the loan, contact the lender."

   -24 Consumer credit reports and extensions of credit. (a) Any person who uses a consumer credit report in connection with the approval of credit based on an application for an extension of credit, and who discovers that the address on the credit application does not match, within a reasonable degree of certainty, the address or addresses listed, if any, on the consumer credit report, shall take reasonable steps to verify the accuracy of the address provided on the application to confirm that the extension of credit is not the result of identity theft.

(b) Any person who uses a consumer credit report in connection with the approval of credit based on an application for an extension of credit, and who has received notification that the applicant has been a victim of identity theft, may not lend money or extend credit without taking reasonable steps to verify the consumer's identity and confirm that the application for an extension of credit is not the result of identity theft.

   -25 Consumer credit reports for employment purposes. (a) Prior to requesting a consumer credit report for employment purposes, the user of the report shall provide written notice to the person involved. The notice shall inform the person that a report will be used and the source of the report, and shall contain a box that the person may check off to receive a copy of the credit report. If the consumer indicates that the consumer wishes to receive a copy of the report, the user shall request that a copy be provided to the person when the user requests its copy from the consumer credit reporting agency. The report to the user and to the subject person shall be provided contemporaneously and at no charge to the subject person.

(b) Whenever employment involving a consumer is denied either wholly or in part because of information contained in a consumer credit report from a consumer credit reporting agency, the user of the consumer credit report shall so advise the consumer against whom the adverse action has been taken and supply the name and address or addresses of the consumer credit reporting agency making the report.

(c) No person shall be held liable for any violation of this section if the person shows by a preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the alleged violation, the person maintained reasonable procedures to assure compliance with this section.

   -26 Requests for investigations. (a) A user, in its discretion, may notify the consumer that the user may contact the consumer credit reporting agency and request that the consumer credit reporting agency investigate the current status of an item or items of information contained in the consumer credit report if the consumer disputes the completeness or accuracy of an item or items of information as provided to the user.

(b) The consumer credit reporting agency may require identification from the user to insure the validity of the request and, in that regard, may require that the request be put in writing with proper identification.

(c) In the event that any such request is made and identification given in the form or manner demanded by the consumer credit reporting agency, the agency shall review the file of the consumer and report the current status of the disputed information to the user and the consumer by the most expeditious means possible.

(d) No user who furnishes information under this section shall be liable to any person for furnishing such information.

   -27 Reselling of consumer credit reports. No person shall procure a consumer credit report for the purpose of reselling the report or any information therein unless the person discloses to the consumer credit reporting agency that issues the report the identity of the ultimate end user and each permissible purpose for which the report is furnished to the end user of the consumer credit report or information therein.

   -28 Furnishing of complete or accurate information to consumer credit reporting agencies. (a) No person shall furnish information on a specific transaction or experience to any consumer credit reporting agency if the person knows or should know the information is incomplete or inaccurate.

(b) A person who in the ordinary course of business regularly and on a routine basis furnishes information to one or more consumer credit reporting agencies about the person's own transactions or experiences with one or more consumers and determines that information on a specific transaction or experience so provided to a consumer credit reporting agency is not complete or accurate, shall promptly notify the consumer credit reporting agency of that determination and provide to the consumer credit reporting agency any corrections to that information, or any additional information, that is necessary to make the information provided by the person to the consumer credit reporting agency complete and accurate.

(c) So long as the completeness or accuracy of any information on a specific transaction or experience furnished by any person to a consumer credit reporting agency is subject to a continuing dispute between the affected consumer and that person, the person may not furnish the information to any consumer credit reporting agency without also including a notice that the information is disputed by the consumer.

(d) A person who regularly furnishes information to a consumer credit reporting agency regarding a consumer who has an open-end credit account with that person, and the account is closed by the consumer, shall notify the consumer credit reporting agency of the closure of that account, in the information regularly furnished for the period in which the account is closed.

(e) A person who places a delinquent account for collection, charges the delinquent account to profit or loss, or takes similar action, and subsequently furnishes information to a consumer credit reporting agency regarding that action, shall include within the information furnished the approximate commencement date of the delinquency that gave rise to that action, unless that date was previously reported to the consumer credit reporting agency. Nothing in this subsection shall require that a delinquency must be reported to a consumer credit reporting agency.

(f) Upon receiving notice of a dispute with regard to the completeness or accuracy of any information provided to a consumer credit reporting agency, the person that provided the information shall complete an investigation with respect to the disputed information and report to the consumer credit reporting agency the results of that investigation thirty business days of the date the consumer credit reporting agency receives the notice of dispute from the consumer.

(g) A person who furnishes information to a consumer credit reporting agency is liable for failure to comply with this section, unless the furnisher establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the failure to comply with this section, the furnisher maintained reasonable procedures to comply with those provisions.

   -29 Submission of negative credit information to a consumer credit reporting agency. (a) As used in this section:

"Creditor" includes an agent or assignee of a creditor, including an agent engaged in administering or collecting the creditor's accounts.

"Negative credit information":

(1) Means information concerning the credit history of a consumer that, because of the consumer's past delinquencies, late or irregular payment history, insolvency, or any form of default, would reasonably be expected to affect adversely the consumer's ability to obtain or maintain credit.

(2) Does not include information or credit histories arising from a nonconsumer transaction or any other credit transaction outside the scope of this chapter, nor does it include inquiries about a consumer's credit record.

(b) A creditor may submit negative credit information concerning a consumer to a consumer credit reporting agency, only if the creditor notifies the consumer affected. After providing this notice, a creditor may submit additional information to a consumer credit reporting agency respecting the same transaction or extension of credit that gave rise to the original negative credit information without providing additional notice.

(c) The notice shall be in writing and shall be delivered in person or mailed first class, postage prepaid, to the party's last known address, prior to or within thirty days after the transmission of the negative credit information.

(d) The notice may be part of any notice of default, billing statement, or other correspondence, and may be included as preprinted or standard form language in any of these from the creditor to the consumer.

(e) The notice is sufficient if it is in substantially the following form:

"As required by law, you are hereby notified that a negative credit report reflecting on your credit record may be submitted to a credit reporting agency if you fail to fulfill the terms of your credit obligations."

(f) The notice, in the creditor's discretion, may be more specific than the form given in subsection (e). The notice may include but shall not be limited to particular information regarding an account or information respecting the approximate date on which the creditor submitted or intends to submit a negative credit report.

(g) The giving of notice by a creditor as provided in this section does not create any requirement for the creditor to actually submit negative credit information to a consumer credit reporting agency.

(h) A creditor is liable for failure to provide notice under this section, unless the creditor establishes, by a preponderance of the evidence, that at the time of that failure to give notice the creditor maintained reasonable procedures to comply with this section.

   -30 Correction of inaccuracies in a consumer credit report. Upon notification of the results of a consumer credit reporting agency's reinvestigation, a consumer may make a written demand on any person furnishing information to the consumer credit reporting agency to correct any information which the consumer believes to be inaccurate. The person upon whom the written demand is made shall acknowledge the demand within thirty days. The consumer may require the consumer credit reporting agency to indicate on any subsequent reports issued during the dispute that the item or items of information are in dispute. If upon investigation the information is found to be inaccurate or incorrect, the consumer may require the consumer credit reporting agency to delete or correct the item or items of information within a reasonable time. If within ninety days the consumer credit reporting agency does not receive any information from the person requested to furnish the same or any communication relative to this information from this person, the consumer credit reporting agency shall delete the information from the report.

   -31 Action for damages. (a) Any consumer who suffers damages as a result of a violation of this chapter by any person may bring an action in a court of appropriate jurisdiction against that person to recover the following:

(1) In the case of a negligent violation, actual damages, including court costs, loss of wages, attorney's fees and, when applicable, pain and suffering;

(2) In the case of a wilful violation:

(A) Actual damages;

(B) Punitive damages of not less than $100 nor more than $5,000 for each violation as the court deems proper; and

(C) Any other relief that the court deems proper; and

(3) In the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer credit report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, an award of actual damages shall be in an amount of not less than $2,500.

(b) Injunctive relief shall be available to any consumer aggrieved by a violation or a threatened violation of this chapter whether or not the consumer seeks any other remedy under this section.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any person who wilfully violates any requirement imposed under this chapter may be liable for punitive damages in the case of a class action, in an amount that the court may allow. In determining the amount of award in any class action, the court shall consider among relevant factors the amount of any actual damages awarded, the frequency of the violations, the resources of the violator and the number of persons adversely affected.

(d) Except as provided in subsection (e), the prevailing plaintiffs in any action commenced under this section shall be entitled to recover court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

(e) If a plaintiff brings an action under this section against a debt collector, and the basis for the action is related to the collection of a debt, the debt collector shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees upon a finding by the court that the action was not brought in good faith.

   -32 Unavailable actions. Except as otherwise provided, no consumer may bring any action or proceeding in the nature of defamation, invasion of privacy, or negligence with respect to the reporting of information against any consumer credit reporting agency, any user of information, or any person who furnishes information to a consumer credit reporting agency, based on information disclosed under this chapter, except as to false information furnished with malice or wilful intent to injure the consumer.

   -33 Statute of limitations. An action to enforce any liability created under this chapter may be brought in any court of competent jurisdiction within two years from the date the plaintiff knew of, or should have known of, the violation of this chapter, but not more than seven years from the earliest date on which that liability could have arisen, except that where a defendant has materially and wilfully misrepresented any information required under this chapter to be disclosed to a consumer and the information so misrepresented is material to the establishment of the defendant's liability to the consumer under this chapter, the action may be brought at any time within two years after the discovery by the consumer of the misrepresentation.

   -34 Damages not cumulative. (a) Any consumer credit reporting agency or user of information against whom an action brought under 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681n or 1681o is pending shall not be subject to suit for the same act or omission under section    -31.

(b) The entry of a final judgment against a consumer credit reporting agency or user of information in an action brought under 15 U.S.C. sec. 1681n or 1681o shall be a bar to the maintenance of any action based on the same act or omission that might be brought under this chapter.

   -35 Inapplicability of chapter to disclosures from public records relating to land. This chapter shall not apply to any consumer credit report that by its terms is limited to disclosures from public records relating to land and land titles and shall not apply to any person whose records and files are maintained for the primary purpose of reporting those portions of the public records that impart constructive notice under the law of matters relating to land and land titles.

   -36 Waivers void. Any waiver of the provisions of this chapter is contrary to public policy, and is void and unenforceable.

   -37 Conflict of laws. In case of a conflict between this chapter and either the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act or a Hawaii Revised Statutes that implements that Act, the federal Act or its implementing state pension shall control."

SECTION 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________