NAII Applauds House Passage of FCRA Reauthorization

September 12, 2003

The House of Representatives late Wednesday approved the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act (H.R. 2622) which permanently reauthorizes the seven preemptions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

This legislation, passed by a vote of 392-30, will reportedly help consumers prevent identity theft, improve resolution of credit disputes, improve the accuracy of consumer records and improve access to credit information.

“The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), applauds Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) and the House of Representatives for passing strong bipartisan legislation that will boost consumer confidence in the credit reporting system, help financial markets function more efficiently, and ultimately strengthen our economy,” said Carl Parks, senior vice president, government relations.

According to the NAII, permanent reauthorization of the expiring preemptions is of paramount importance to both consumers and financial services providers. The recent enactment of a new privacy law in California that goes far beyond the provisions established by the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act only reinforces the need for action. The California bill strikes at the heart of one of the preemptions most critical to insurers in meeting consumer needs – affiliate sharing.

As addressed in a letter to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert last month, NAII remains concerned about two provisions of the House-passed bill. Section 505 requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in consultation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to study, among other things, the use of credit scores and insurance scores and any resulting disparate impact the use of such scores may have on certain socio-economic groups. Section 506 requires a separate and duplicative General Accounting Office study. NAII reportedly believes these studies are costly, impractical and unnecessary.

The Senate is expected to produce a credit reporting bill later this month.

“It is essential that the Senate follow the House’s lead on permanent
reauthorization of the current preemptions,” added Parks.

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