CLEVELAND - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is putting specialty consumer reporting agencies on notice.
These are companies that hold personal information about you as a consumer. Most of the focus is on getting your credit report for free, but did you know there around 10 reports that contain information about you and you're entitled to view the report for free each year?
There are reports about your history as a tenant, check writing, insurance, employment and medical payments. You're entitled to view all of them for free. The CFPB said it will take action if these companies are not following the law.
It's important to check these reports for inaccuracies because they can effect your ability to get a job, insurance, etc.
The companies must provide a toll-free number if it appears in a telephone directory and the number must be prominently displayed on the company's website. It's been brought to my attention from my blog readers that sometimes it's difficult to find these numbers as the companies change.
The CFPB is sending warning letters to several companies that indicate they may be in violation of the law.
If you find a mistake, dispute it. Your rights are outlined on the reports including the steps you need to take to fix the mistake. If you are still having problems getting the issue fixed, the CFPB is now taking complaints on consumer reporting agencies.
1. LexisNexis full disclosure
If you are going to get any of these nine reports, the full disclosure report is the one you don't want to miss. It includes public information that's out there about you, and pulls from other consumer files that already exist, like the C.L.U.E. report that I'll explain later.
It includes any insurance claims, current insurance carrier, pre-employment check, criminal records and personal credit information, and whether you've ever been evicted. While it sounds like a lot of reports, the file I had a consumer order in a test was simple to browse through and understand.
The report also comes with information on how to read the paperwork and how to dispute a claim.
To request a Full Disclosure report:
Mail the completed form and supporting documents to:
LexisNexis Consumer Center
Attn: Full File Disclosure
P.O. Box 105108
Atlanta, GA 30348-5108
2. Person report
Public and private records are compiled into one report called an Accurint " Person Report ." LexisNexis provides the report, and while it's not a consumer reporting agency, it's a report you should get each year. Since it's not a consumer reporting agency, the data in your report can't be used to deny you credit, employment or make tenant and housing decisions.
The report lists variations of your name, previous addresses, criminal history, FAA certification, FAA aircrafts, sexual offenses and possible associates, to name a few categories.
To request a Person Report:
You need to fill out an online form and include additional paperwork verifying your social security number, name, and current address. You need to mail the completed form along with accepted documents.
Accurint Consumer Inquiry Department
P.O. Box 105610
Atlanta, GA 30348-5610
It says it may take 30 to 60 days to get this report that compiles public and non-public information, but it took just two weeks when I had a consumer request the report.
3. Tenant report
There are two major rental and tenant history reports that you'll want to review. There may be others. This is a specialty market, so there are lots of agencies that compile this information for landlords.
CoreLogic SafeRent provides information on your rental history, sex offender status and if you have court records on file. It provides this information to third parties to screen tenants and employees.
To request a Tenant Report:
You need to fill out a form and mail it in. The form is not short, so don't be alarmed when you download it and see 14 pages of information. A lot of the fine print talks about your rights to request these consumer reports, and the price of this report. You'll only pay fees if you request this report more than once in a 12-month period.
You can also call the company at 1-800-815-8664 to request a disclosure form.
Mail the completed form to:
CoreLogic SafeRent, LLC.
Consumer Relations Department
P.O. Box 509124
San Diego, California 92150
LexisNexis also has a Rental History Report you can obtain. You can also call 1-877-448-5732 to obtain it.
4. Employment report
If you've applied for a job recently, you were probably asked for consent to obtain a report about you. It's
a screening mechanism to figure out if a candidate is a good hire.
LexisNexis provides the background report that includes your employment history. There is not a report on every person.
To see if there is an Employment report on you, call 1-866-312-8075.
You may have to fill out a form and include additional verification documentation to get your report.
5. Work number report
This report is another specialty report that doesn't exist for everyone. It includes information on your employment and income for companies that send data to this database.
The Work Number is an automated system that serves over 190 million employees and human resource and payroll services. It's a way for a company to verify employment and income for an individual. This information may be used by a lender, apartment manager, or employer to verify your income. Social service agencies may also use the information to verify if a person's income qualifies under the agency's guidelines. Companies also give employees access to the information for quick and easy verification of your information and W-2.
To obtain The Work Number report call 866-604-6570 or mail the completed form to:
1845 Borman Ct.
St. Louis, MO 63146
The form may not exist for every person. You will need to provide proof of identity and address to obtain your report.
6. Medical report
These reports are not available for everyone. You'll only see this report if you've disclosed this information as part of an application for individually underwritten life, health, or disability income insurance during the previous seven years AND if that company uses these databases.
You need to be careful, just like when you order your free credit report, that you are going through the proper site to get this report for free. There is a site (Annual Medical Report) that makes you think it's the official site to order your report, but doing so will cost you $30.
The Medical Information Bureau and FTC came to an agreement in 1995 to offer consumers information. MIB has around 750 member insurance companies. This report can contain medical information, drug use, criminal activity, driving record, genetic history, and if you participate in a dangerous sport.
To obtain your medical report:
Medical Information Bureau (MIB): 1-866-692-6901
7. Prescription report
Just like the medical report, there is not a report on every person.
Many people didn't even know these prescription history reports were available until 2007 when the Federal Trade Commission sued the owner of IntelliScript and MedPoint databases. These reports contain prescription history reports on insurance policy applicants. The patient or applicant gives consent to release the information for the last five years of prescription drug purchases.
"Consumer reporting companies sell information that can play a critical role in the price consumers pay for a variety of products and services – or even whether they're eligible for them," FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau Director Lydia Parnes said at the time. "These cases make clear that all consumer reporting companies must comply with the laws that protect consumers' rights." Now, these reports are open to the public once a year for free.
MedPoint appears to be run by a new organization now, and there is not contact information readily available for consumers.
You can see if there is an IntelliScript : report by calling 1-877-211-4816
8. Insurance claim report
When a company decides whether to insure you or not, you're often asked about previous claims. To verify whether you're telling the truth or not, there are companies that compile this information for verification purposes.
There is a C.L.U.E. report or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange which reports claims on property and auto insurance policies. The report covers seven years of losses and includes the amount of the claim.
The A-Plus report is the Automobile Property Loss Underwriting System . According to the company's website, the database contains information on insurance claims from 95% of the insurance industry. Some states even contribute data.
To obtain your insurance report:
A-Plus Report : 1-800-627-3487
C.L.U.E. Report 1-866-312-8076
You can also order the C.L.U.E report online by creating a user ID and password, or you can fill out a form and mail it in to the company.
You don't need to order this C.L.U.E. report if you got the Comprehensive Report. It's duplicate information, because the same company provides the information.
9. Check writing report
Just like the tenant history report, there are many specialty agencies providing information on your check writing history. This is typically the system a business runs your check through when you write a check for a purchase.
ChexSystems maintains information from banks and credit unions on your check writing history. You can fill out an online survey and application. There is no need to print a form.
However, you can mail in a form if you prefer that method of contact.
You can mail the form to:
Attn: Consumer Relations
7805 Hudson Rd, Suite 100
Woodbury, MN 55125
TeleCheck requires you provide personal information like your bank number and social security number to get your file. You need to send a request with your daytime phone number, a copy of your driver's license, social security number, a voided check, and a copy of your tax or utility bill showing your current address.
You can mail the request to:
TeleCheck Services, Inc.
Attention: Consumer Resolutions-FA
P.O. Box 4514
Houston, TX 77210-4514
The company also has a 1-800 number but calling that did not get us a copy of our report. It refers you to mail in information.
10. Credit report
Your credit report is the report we all know about thanks to Annual Credit Report . Make sure you don't click on Freecreditreport.com because that will cost you money.
Make sure you check this report at least once a year, because there are often mistakes. Annual Credit Report will not give you your credit score. That information is not free unless you've been denied credit.
Tip: While you can check your report once a year for free, there are three agencies or credit bureaus offering the reports. To keep an eye on your credit year round, check one of the three agency's reports every three months. Example: Check Experian's report via Annual Credit Report in January, check TransUnion's in May, and Check Equifax in September.
How many of these reports have you checked?