Code Section Group

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3272.9]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 14. )

PART 4. OBLIGATIONS ARISING FROM PARTICULAR TRANSACTIONS [1738 - 3273]

  ( Part 4 enacted 1872. )

TITLE 1.6. CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES ACT [1785.1 - 1785.36]

  ( Title 1.6 repealed and added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1271. )

CHAPTER 2. Obligations of Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies [1785.10 - 1785.19.5]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1271. )

1785.10.
  

(a) Every consumer credit reporting agency shall, upon request and proper identification of any consumer, 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 which may be contained in the agency files regarding that consumer, shall promptly advise the consumer of his or her rights under Sections 1785.11.8, 1785.19, and 1785.19.5, and of the obligation of the agency to provide disclosure of the files in person, by mail, or by telephone pursuant to Section 1785.15, including the obligation of the agency to provide a decoded written version of the file or a written copy of the file with an explanation of any code, including any credit score used, and the key factors, as defined in Section 1785.15.1, if the consumer so requests that copy. 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.

The agency shall determine the applicability of subdivision (1) of Section 1785.17 and, where applicable, the agency shall inform the consumer of the rights under that section.

(c) All information on a consumer in the files of a consumer credit reporting agency at the time of a request for inspection under subdivision (a), 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) (1) 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:

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

(B) For any other purpose within the 12-month period preceding the request.

(2) Disclosure of recipients of consumer credit reports for purposes of this subdivision shall include the name of the recipient or, if applicable, the fictitious business name under which the recipient does business disclosed in full. The identification shall also include 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 12-month period preceding the request that identified the consumer in connection with a credit transaction which 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.

(f) Any consumer credit reporting agency when it is subject to the provisions of Section 1785.22 is exempted from the requirements of subdivisions (c), (d), and (e), only with regard to the provision of the address and telephone number.

(g) Any consumer credit reporting agency, that provides a consumer credit report to another consumer credit reporting agency that procures the consumer credit report for the purpose of resale and is subject to Section 1785.22, is exempted from the requirements of subdivisions (d) and (e), only with regard to the provision of the address and telephone number regarding each prospective user to which the consumer credit report was sold.

(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2003.

(Repealed (in Sec. 1) and added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 9, Sec. 2. Effective February 19, 2002. Section operative January 1, 2003, by its own provisions.)

1785.10.1.
  

(a) It is unlawful for a consumer credit reporting agency to prohibit in any manner, including, but not limited to, in the terms of a contract enforceable in the state, or to dissuade or attempt to dissuade, a user of a consumer credit report furnished by the credit reporting agency from providing a copy of the consumer’s credit report to the consumer, upon the consumer’s request, if the user has taken adverse action against the consumer based in whole or in part upon information in the report.

(b) The Attorney General, any district attorney or city attorney, or a city prosecutor in any city or city and county having a full-time city prosecutor, may bring a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against any credit reporting agency violating this section for a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) which may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California.

(Added by Stats. 2013, Ch. 433, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

1785.11.
  

(a) A consumer credit reporting agency shall furnish a consumer credit report only under the following circumstances:

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

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

(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 a court of competent jurisdiction for support, involving the consumer as to whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer; or

(B) Intends to use the information for employment purposes; or

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

(D) 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; or

(E) Intends to use the information in connection with the hiring of a dwelling unit, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1940; or

(F) 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 specified in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), where it is a credit transaction that is not initiated by the consumer, only under the circumstances specified in paragraph (1) or (2), as follows:

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

(2) The proposed transaction involves a firm offer of credit to the consumer, the consumer credit reporting agency has complied with subdivision (d), and the consumer has not elected pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (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 pursuant to this paragraph:

(A) The name and address of the consumer.

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

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 1785.15, 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) (1) A consumer may elect to have his or her name and address excluded from any list provided by a consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) by notifying the consumer credit reporting agency, by telephone or in writing, through the notification system maintained by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subdivision (e), that the consumer does not consent to any use of consumer credit reports relating to the consumer in connection with any transaction that is not initiated by the consumer.

(2) An election of a consumer under paragraph (1) 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.

(3) An election of a consumer under paragraph (1) shall terminate and be of no force or effect following notice from the consumer to the consumer credit reporting agency, through the system established pursuant to subdivision (e), that the election is no longer effective.

(e) Each consumer credit reporting agency that furnishes a prequalifying report pursuant to subdivision (b) 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 any 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, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b). Compliance with the requirements of this subdivision by a consumer credit reporting agency shall constitute compliance with those requirements by any affiliate of that consumer credit reporting agency.

(f) Each consumer credit reporting agency that compiles and maintains files on consumers on a nationwide basis shall establish and maintain a notification system under paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) jointly with its affiliated consumer credit reporting agencies.

(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 664, Sec. 40. Effective January 1, 2003.)

1785.11.1.
  

(a) A consumer may elect to place a security alert in his or her 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 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

(d) The toll-free telephone number shall be included in any written disclosure by a consumer credit reporting agency to any consumer pursuant to Section 1785.15 and shall be printed in a clear and conspicuous manner.

(e) 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.

(f) The security alert shall remain in place for at least 90 days, and a consumer shall have the right to request a renewal of the security alert.

(g) Any person who uses a consumer credit report in connection with the approval of credit based on an application for an extension of credit, or with the purchase, lease, or rental of goods or non-credit-related services and who receives notification of a security alert pursuant to subdivision (a) may not lend money, extend credit, or complete the purchase, lease, or rental of goods or non-credit-related services without taking reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s identity, in order to ensure that the application for an extension of credit or for the purchase, lease, or rental of goods or non-credit-related services is not the result of identity theft. If the consumer has placed a statement with the security alert in his or her file requesting that identity be verified by calling a specified telephone number, any person who receives that statement with the security alert in a consumer’s file pursuant to subdivision (a) shall take reasonable steps to verify the identity of the consumer by contacting the consumer using the specified telephone number prior to lending money, extending credit, or completing the purchase, lease, or rental of goods or non-credit-related services. If a person uses a consumer credit report to facilitate the extension of credit or for another permissible purpose on behalf of a subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee, that person may verify a consumer’s identity under this section in lieu of the subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee.

(h) For purposes of this section, “extension of credit” does not include an increase in the dollar limit of an existing open-end credit plan, as defined in Regulation Z issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (12 C.F.R. 226.2), or any change to, or review of, an existing credit account.

(i) If reasonable steps are taken to verify the identity of the consumer pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1785.20.3, those steps constitute compliance with the requirements of this section, except that if a consumer has placed a statement including a telephone number with the security alert in his or her file, his or her identity shall be verified by contacting the consumer using that telephone number as specified pursuant to subdivision (g).

(j) A consumer credit reporting agency shall notify each consumer who has requested that a security alert be placed on his or her consumer credit report of the expiration date of the alert.

(k) Notwithstanding Section 1785.19, any consumer credit reporting agency that recklessly, willfully, or intentionally fails to place a security alert pursuant to this section shall be liable for a penalty in an amount of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) and reasonable attorneys’ fees.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 907, Sec. 1.5. Effective January 1, 2004. Operative July 1, 2004, by Sec. 8 of Ch. 907. Note: Previously, the amendment by Stats. 2003, Ch. 533, was operative from Jan. 1 until July 1, 2004, as authorized by Sec. 6 of Stats. 2003, Ch. 907.)

1785.11.2.
  

(a) A consumer may elect to place a security freeze on his or her credit report by making a request in writing by 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, and subject to certain exceptions, that prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer’s credit report or any information from it without the express authorization of the consumer. If a security freeze is in place, information from a consumer’s credit report may not be released to a third party without prior express authorization from the consumer. This subdivision does not prevent a consumer credit reporting agency 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 three business days after receiving a written request from the consumer.

(c) The consumer credit reporting agency shall send a written confirmation of the security freeze to the consumer within 10 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 his or her credit for a specific party or period of time.

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

(1) Proper identification, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1785.15.

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

(3) The proper 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 freeze on a credit report pursuant to subdivision (d) shall comply with the request no later than three business days after receiving the request.

(f) A consumer credit reporting agency may develop procedures involving the use of telephone, fax, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request from a consumer to temporarily lift a freeze on a credit report pursuant to subdivision (d) in an expedited manner.

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

(1) Upon consumer request, pursuant to subdivision (d) or (j).

(2) If the consumer’s credit report was frozen due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer. If a consumer credit reporting agency intends to remove a freeze upon a consumer’s credit report pursuant to this paragraph, the consumer credit reporting agency shall notify the consumer in writing prior to removing the freeze on the consumer’s credit report.

(h) A third party who requests access to a consumer credit report in connection with an application for credit or any other use may treat the application as incomplete if a security freeze is in effect and the consumer does not allow his or her credit report to be accessed for that specific party or period of time.

(i) If a consumer requests a security freeze, the consumer credit reporting agency shall disclose the process of placing and temporarily lifting a 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 place.

(j) A security freeze shall remain in place 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 if the consumer provides both of the following:

(1) Proper identification, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1785.15.

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

(k) A consumer credit reporting agency shall require proper identification, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1785.15, of the person making a request to place or remove a security freeze.

(l) The provisions of this section do not apply to the use of a consumer credit report by any of the following:

(1) (A) (i) A person or entity with which the consumer has or had, prior to any assignment, an account or contract, including a demand deposit account, or to which the consumer issued a negotiable instrument, for the purpose of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or negotiable instrument.

(ii) A subsidiary, affiliate, or agent of a person or entity described in clause (i), an assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to such a person or entity, or a prospective assignee of a financial obligation owing by the consumer to such a person or entity in conjunction with the proposed purchase of the financial obligation, for the purpose of reviewing the account or collecting the financial obligation owing for the account, contract, or negotiable instrument.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “reviewing the account” includes activities related to account maintenance, monitoring, credit line increases, and account upgrades and enhancements.

(2) A subsidiary, affiliate, agent, assignee, or prospective assignee of a person to whom access has been granted under subdivision (d) for purposes of facilitating the extension of credit or other permissible use.

(3) Any state or local agency, law enforcement agency, trial court, or private collection agency acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena.

(4) A child support agency acting pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 17400) of Division 17 of the Family Code or Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. et seq.).

(5) The State Department of Health Care Services or its agents or assigns acting to investigate Medi-Cal fraud.

(6) The Franchise Tax Board or its agents or assigns acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders or to fulfill any of its other statutory responsibilities.

(7) The use of credit information for the purposes of prescreening as provided for by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

(8) Any person or entity administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the consumer has subscribed.

(9) Any person or entity for the purpose of providing a consumer with a copy of his or her credit report upon the consumer’s request.

(m) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this title does not prevent a consumer credit reporting agency from charging a fee of no more than ten dollars ($10) to a consumer for the placement of each freeze, the removal of the freeze, the temporary lift of the freeze for a period of time, or the temporary lift of the freeze for a specific party, regarding access to a consumer credit report, except that a consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee to a victim of identity theft who has submitted a valid police report or valid Department of Motor Vehicles investigative report that alleges a violation of Section 530.5 of the Penal Code.

(2) With respect to a consumer who is 65 years of age or older and who has provided identification confirming his or her age, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge a fee for the placement of an initial security freeze, but may charge a fee not to exceed five dollars ($5) for the removal of the freeze, the temporary lift of the freeze for a period of time, the temporary lift of the freeze for a specific party, or replacing the freeze.

(n) Regardless of the existence of a security freeze, a consumer reporting agency may disclose public record information lawfully obtained by, or for, the consumer reporting agency from an open public record to the extent otherwise permitted by law. This subdivision does not prohibit a consumer reporting agency from electing to apply a valid security freeze to the entire contents of a credit report.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 645, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

1785.11.3.
  

(a) If a security freeze is in place, a consumer credit reporting agency shall not change any of the following official information in a consumer credit report without sending a written confirmation of the change to the consumer within 30 days of the change being posted to the consumer’s file: name, date of birth, social security number, and address. Written confirmation is not required for technical modifications of a consumer’s official information, including name and street abbreviations, complete spellings, or transposition of numbers or letters. In the case of an address change, the written confirmation shall be sent to both the new address and to the former address.

(b) If a consumer has placed a security alert, a consumer credit reporting agency shall provide the consumer, upon request, with a free copy of his or her credit report at the time the 90-day security alert period expires.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 720, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002. Operative January 1, 2003, by Sec. 8 of Ch. 720.)

1785.11.4.
  

The provisions of Sections 1785.11.1, 1785.11.2, and 1785.11.3 do not apply to a consumer credit reporting agency that acts only as a reseller of credit information pursuant to Section 1785.22 by assembling and merging information contained in the data base of another consumer credit reporting agency or multiple consumer credit reporting agencies, and does not maintain a permanent data base of credit information from which new consumer credit reports are produced. However, a consumer credit reporting agency acting pursuant to Section 1785.22 shall honor any security freeze placed on a consumer credit report by another consumer credit reporting agency.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 720, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2002.)

1785.11.6.
  

The following entities are not required to place in a credit report either a security alert, pursuant to Section 1785.11.1, or a security freeze, pursuant to Section 1785.11.2:

(a) A check services or fraud prevention services company, which 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.

(b) A deposit account information service company, which issues reports regarding account closures due to fraud, substantial overdrafts, ATM 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 deposit account at the inquiring bank or financial institution.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 907, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

1785.11.8.
  

A consumer may elect that his or her name shall be removed from any list that a consumer credit reporting agency furnishes for credit card solicitations, by notifying the consumer credit reporting agency, by telephone or in writing, pursuant to the notification system maintained by the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 1785.11. The election shall be effective for a minimum of two years, unless otherwise specified by the consumer.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 354, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2002.)

1785.11.9.
  

For purposes of Sections 1785.11.10 and 1785.11.11, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) “Protected consumer” means an individual who is any of the following:

(1) Under 16 years of age at the time a request for the placement of a security freeze is made.

(2) An incapacitated person or a protected person for whom a guardian or conservator has been appointed.

(3) Under the jurisdiction of a county welfare department or county probation department, has been placed in a foster care setting, and is under 16 years of age at the time a request for placement of a security freeze is made.

(b) “Record” means a compilation of information that:

(1) Identifies a protected consumer.

(2) Was created by a consumer credit reporting agency solely for the purpose of complying with this section.

(3) Is not otherwise authorized to be created or used to consider the protected consumer’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living.

(c) (1) “Representative” means a person who provides to a consumer credit reporting agency sufficient proof of authority to act on behalf of a protected consumer.

(2) For a protected consumer who has been placed in a foster care setting, “representative” means either of the following:

(A) A county welfare department or its agent or designee.

(B) A county probation department or its agent or designee.

(3) For a protected consumer who has been placed in a foster care setting, “representative” does not mean a foster parent.

(d) “Security freeze” means:

(1) If a consumer credit reporting agency does not have a file pertaining to a protected consumer, a restriction that:

(A) Is placed on the protected consumer’s record in accordance with this section.

(B) Prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the protected consumer’s record except as authorized in this section.

(2) If a consumer credit reporting agency has a file pertaining to a protected consumer, a restriction that:

(A) Is placed on the protected consumer’s consumer credit report in accordance with this section.

(B) Prohibits the consumer credit reporting agency from releasing the protected consumer’s consumer credit report or any information derived from the protected consumer’s consumer credit report except as authorized in this section.

(e) “Sufficient proof of authority” means documentation that shows that a representative has authority to act on behalf of a protected consumer in a financial matter. This documentation includes, but is not limited to:

(1) A court order or relevant enabling document issued by a court.

(2) A legally sufficient and valid power of attorney, or a durable power of attorney.

(3) A written, notarized statement signed by a representative that expressly describes the authority of the representative to act on behalf of a protected consumer, including a temporary conservator or temporary guardian.

(4) A written communication from a county welfare department or its agent or designee or a county probation department or its agent or designee certifying that the protected consumer is a foster youth under its jurisdiction.

(f) “Sufficient proof of identification” means information or documentation that identifies a protected consumer or a representative of a protected consumer. This information or documentation includes, but is not limited to:

(1) A social security number or a copy of a social security card issued by the Social Security Administration.

(2) A certified copy or official copy of a birth certificate issued by the entity authorized to issue the birth certificate.

(3) A copy of a driver’s license, an identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or any other government-issued identification.

(4) A copy of a bill for telephone, sewer, septic tank, water, electric, oil, or natural gas services that shows a name and a home address.

(5) A written communication from a county welfare department or its agent or designee or a county probation department or its agent or designee certifying that the protected consumer is a foster youth under its jurisdiction.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 494, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017.)

1785.11.10.
  

Sections 1785.11.9 to 1785.11.11, inclusive, do not apply to the use of a protected consumer’s consumer credit report or record by any of the following:

(a) A person or entity listed in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (l) of Section 1785.11.2, or Section 1785.11.4 or 1785.11.6.

(b) A person administering a credit file monitoring subscription service to which the representative of the protected consumer has subscribed on behalf of the protected consumer.

(c) A person who provides the protected consumer or the protected consumer’s representative with a copy of the protected consumer’s consumer credit report at the request of the protected consumer or at the request of the protected consumer’s representative.

(d) Any state or local agency, law enforcement agency, trial court, or private collection agency acting pursuant to a court order, warrant, or subpoena.

(e) A child support agency acting pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 17400) of Division 17 of the Family Code and Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 651 et seq.).

(f) The State Department of Health Care Services or its agents or assigns acting to investigate Medi-Cal fraud.

(g) The Franchise Tax Board or its agents or assigns acting to investigate or collect delinquent taxes or unpaid court orders or to fulfill any of its other statutory responsibilities.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 494, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

1785.11.11.
  

(a) A consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze for a protected consumer if both of the following occur:

(1) The consumer credit reporting agency receives a request from the protected consumer’s representative for the placement of the security freeze pursuant to this section.

(2) The protected consumer’s representative does all of the following:

(A) Submits the request to the consumer credit reporting agency at the address or other point of contact and in the manner specified by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(B) Provides to the consumer credit reporting agency sufficient proof of identification of the protected consumer and the representative.

(C) Provides to the consumer credit reporting agency sufficient proof of authority to act on behalf of the protected consumer.

(D) Pays to the consumer credit reporting agency a fee as authorized by subdivision (i).

(b) If a consumer credit reporting agency does not have a file pertaining to a protected consumer when the consumer credit reporting agency receives a request pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), the consumer credit reporting agency shall create a record for the protected consumer.

(c) If a protected consumer’s representative requests a security freeze, the consumer credit reporting agency shall disclose the process for placing and removing a security freeze.

(d) Within 30 days after receiving a request that meets the requirements of subdivision (a), a consumer credit reporting agency shall place a security freeze for the protected consumer. The consumer credit reporting agency shall send written confirmation of the security freeze to the address on file within 10 days of the placement of the security freeze.

(e) Unless a security freeze for a protected consumer is removed pursuant to subdivision (h) or (j), a consumer credit reporting agency shall not release the protected consumer’s consumer credit report, any information derived from the protected consumer’s consumer credit report, or any record created for the protected consumer.

(f) A security freeze for a protected consumer placed pursuant to this section shall remain in effect until either of the following occurs:

(1) The protected consumer or the protected consumer’s representative requests that the consumer credit reporting agency remove the security freeze in accordance with subdivision (h).

(2) The security freeze is removed in accordance with subdivision (j).

(g) To remove a security freeze, a protected consumer or a protected consumer’s representative shall do all of the following:

(1) Submit a request for removal of the security freeze to the consumer credit reporting agency at the address or other point of contact and in the manner specified by the consumer credit reporting agency.

(2) Provide to the consumer credit reporting agency:

(A) If the request is made by the protected consumer:

(i) Proof that the sufficient proof of authority for the protected consumer’s representative to act on behalf of the protected consumer is no longer valid, he or she has been emancipated, or he or she is 16 years of age or older.

(ii) Sufficient proof of identification of the protected consumer.

(B) If the request is made by the representative of a protected consumer:

(i) Sufficient proof of identification of the protected consumer and the representative.

(ii) Sufficient proof of authority to act on behalf of the protected consumer.

(3) Pay to the consumer credit reporting agency a fee as authorized by subdivision (i).

(h) Within 30 days after receiving a request that meets the requirements of subdivision (g), a consumer credit reporting agency shall remove a security freeze for a protected consumer.

(i) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee for any service performed pursuant to this section.

(2) A consumer credit reporting agency is authorized to charge a reasonable fee, not exceeding ten dollars ($10), for each placement or removal of a security freeze for a protected consumer.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a consumer credit reporting agency shall not charge any fee pursuant to this section under any of the following circumstances:

(A) The protected consumer’s representative has received a report of alleged identity theft against the protected consumer under Section 530.5 of the Penal Code and has provided copy of the report to the consumer credit reporting agency.

(B) The request for the placement or removal of a security freeze is for a protected consumer who is under 16 years of age at the time of the request and the consumer credit reporting agency has a report pertaining to the protected consumer.

(C) The request for the placement or removal of a security freeze is for a protected consumer who has been placed in a foster care setting.

(j) A consumer credit reporting agency is authorized to remove a security freeze for a protected consumer or to delete a record of a protected consumer if the security freeze was placed or the record was created based upon a material misrepresentation of fact by the protected consumer or the protected consumer’s representative.

(k) A consumer credit reporting agency may develop procedures involving the use of telephone, mail, fax, the Internet, or other electronic media to receive and process a request for a protected consumer’s security freeze to be placed or removed.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 494, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2017.)

1785.12.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1785.11, a consumer credit reporting agency may furnish to a governmental agency a consumer’s name, address, former address, places of employment, or former places of employment.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1271.)

1785.13.
  

(a) No consumer credit reporting agency shall make any consumer credit report containing any of the following items of information:

(1) Bankruptcies that, from the date of the order for relief, antedate the report by more than 10 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. For purposes of this paragraph, the lessor shall be deemed to be the prevailing party only if (A) final judgment was awarded to the lessor (i) upon entry of the tenant’s default, (ii) upon the granting of the lessor’s motion for summary judgment, or (iii) following trial, or (B) the action was resolved by a written settlement agreement between the parties that states that the unlawful detainer action may be reported. In any other instance in which the action is resolved by settlement agreement, the lessor shall not be deemed to be the prevailing party for purposes of this paragraph.

(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. These items of information shall no longer be reported if at any time it is learned that in the case of a conviction a full pardon has been granted, or in the case of an arrest, indictment, information, or misdemeanor complaint a conviction did not result.

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

(b) The seven-year period specified in paragraphs (5) and (7) of subdivision (a) shall commence to run, with respect to any account that is placed for collection (internally or by referral to a third party, whichever is earlier), charged to profit and loss, or subjected to any similar action, upon the expiration of the 180-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 specified in paragraphs (5) and (7) shall commence concurrently for all these actions on the date of the first of these actions.

(c) Any 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 an identification of the chapter of Title 11 of the United States Code under which the case arose if that can be ascertained from what 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 antedating the report by more than 10 years or that otherwise is 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 subdivision, “open-end credit account” does not include any demand deposit account, such as a checking account, money market account, or share draft account.

(f) Consumer credit reporting agencies shall not include medical information in their 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 either was provided to the consumer credit reporting agency pursuant to Section 4752 or has been provided to the consumer credit reporting agency and verified by another federal, state, or local governmental agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 500, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2010.)

1785.135.
  

No consumer credit reporting agency shall make any consumer credit report with respect to a document which acts as a lien or other encumbrance, including, but not limited to, a notice of lis pendens, but which has together with it a court order striking or releasing the lien or other encumbrance pursuant to Section 765.030 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 779, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

1785.14.
  

(a) Every consumer credit reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures designed to avoid violations of Section 1785.13 and to limit furnishing of consumer credit reports to the purposes listed under Section 1785.11. 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. From the effective date of this act 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 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 1785.11. 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 1785.11 unless all of the following requirements are met:

(1) If the prospective user is a retail seller, as defined in Section 1802.3, and intends to issue credit to a consumer who appears in person on the basis of an application for credit submitted in person, the consumer credit reporting agency shall, with a reasonable degree of certainty, 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.

(2) If the prospective user is a retail seller, as defined in Section 1802.3, and intends to issue credit to a consumer who appears in person on the basis of an application for credit submitted in person, 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. This paragraph does not apply to an application for credit submitted by mail.

(3) If the prospective user intends to extend credit by mail pursuant to 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 pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). This permanently retained data shall be available for use in either a reinvestigation pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1785.16, an investigation where the consumer has filed a police report pursuant to subdivision (k) of Section 1785.16, 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 pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1785.16.

(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 1785.31.

(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 title. Copies of the appropriate code sections shall satisfy the requirement of this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 768, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1998. Operative July 1, 1998, by Sec. 7 of Ch. 768.)

1785.15.
  

(a) A consumer credit reporting agency shall supply files and information required under Section 1785.10 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, as defined in and required by Section 1785.15.1.

(3) A record of all inquiries, by recipient, that result in the provision of information concerning the consumer in connection with a credit transaction not initiated by the consumer and that were received by the consumer credit reporting agency in the 12-month period immediately preceding the request for disclosure under this section.

(4) The recipients, including end users specified in Section 1785.22, 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.

(B) For any other purpose within the 12-month period preceding the request.

Identification for purposes of this paragraph shall include the name of the recipient or, if applicable, the fictitious business name under which the recipient does business disclosed in full. If requested by the consumer, the identification shall also include the address of the recipient.

(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 the trained personnel required by subdivision (d), if he or she appears in person and furnishes proper identification.

(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. A disclosure pursuant to this paragraph shall be deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, within five business days after the consumer’s written request for the disclosure is received by the consumer credit reporting agency. Consumer credit reporting agencies complying with requests for mailings under this section shall not be liable for disclosures to third parties caused by mishandling of mail after the mailings leave the consumer credit reporting agencies.

(3) A summary of all information contained in files on a consumer and required to be provided by Section 1785.10 shall be provided by telephone, if the consumer has made a written request, with proper identification for telephone disclosure.

(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. For this purpose, a consumer may request disclosure in person pursuant to Section 1785.10, by telephone upon disclosure of proper identification by the consumer, by electronic means if available from the consumer credit reporting agency, or by any other reasonable means that is available from the consumer credit reporting agency.

(c) “Proper identification,” as used in subdivision (b) means that information generally deemed sufficient to identify a person. Only if the consumer is unable to reasonably identify himself or herself 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 his or her identity.

(d) The consumer credit reporting agency shall provide trained personnel to explain to the consumer any information furnished him or her pursuant to Section 1785.10.

(e) The consumer shall be permitted to be accompanied by one other person of his or her choosing, 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 pursuant to this section shall include a written summary of all rights the consumer has under this title 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 that the consumer can use to communicate with the consumer credit reporting agency. The written summary of rights required under this subdivision 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 ($8). 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 60 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 10 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 30 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 12 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, which will warn anyone who receives information in your credit report that your identity may have been used without your consent. Recipients of your credit report are required to take reasonable steps, including contacting you at the telephone number you may provide with your security alert, to verify your identity prior to lending money, extending credit, or completing the purchase, lease, or rental of goods or services. 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, or cellular phone or other new account, 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 90-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). California consumers also have the right to obtain a “security freeze.”

You have a right to place a “security freeze” on your credit report, which 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 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, or cellular phone or other new account, 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 to users of the credit report.

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 does not apply when you have an existing account and a copy of your report is requested by your existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.

If you are actively seeking credit, you should understand that the procedures involved in lifting a security freeze may slow your application for credit. You should plan ahead and lift a freeze, either completely if you are shopping around, or specifically for a certain creditor, before applying for new credit.

A consumer credit reporting agency may not charge a fee to a consumer for placing or removing a security freeze if the consumer is a victim of identity theft and submits a copy of a valid police report or valid Department of Motor Vehicles investigative report. A person 65 years of age or older with proper identification shall not be charged a fee for placing an initial security freeze, but may be charged a fee of no more than five dollars ($5) for lifting, removing, or replacing a security freeze. All other consumers may be charged a fee of no more than ten dollars ($10) for each of these steps.

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 willfully 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 or a valid investigative report made by a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator with peace officer status describing your circumstances, 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 (A) the information you provide is a material misrepresentation of the facts, (B) you agree that the information is blocked in error, or (C) you knowingly obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transactions. If blocked information is unblocked, you will be promptly notified.

(2) You have a right to receive, free of charge and upon request, one copy of your credit report each month for up to 12 consecutive months.”

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 645, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2013.)

1785.15.1.
  

(a) Upon the consumer’s request for a credit score, a consumer credit reporting agency shall supply to a consumer a notice which shall include the information described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, 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 he or she may request and obtain a credit score.

(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 which shall not exceed four.

(4) The date the credit score was created.

(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 act, “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 down payment, 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 individual listed in the order of their importance based on their effect on the credit score.

(d) The information required by this section shall be provided in the same timeframe and manner as the information described in Section 1785.15.

(e) This section shall not be construed to compel a consumer reporting agency to develop or disclose a score if the agency does not (1) distribute scores that are used in connection with residential real property loans, or (2) develop scores that assist credit providers in understanding a consumer’s general credit behavior and predicting his or her future credit behavior.

(f) This section shall not be construed to require a consumer credit reporting agency that distributes credit scores developed by another person or entity to provide a further explanation of them, or to process a dispute arising pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 1785.16, except that the consumer credit reporting agency shall provide the consumer with the name and address and website for contacting the person or entity who developed the score or developed the methodology of the score. This subdivision does not apply to a consumer credit reporting agency that develops or modifies scores that are developed by another person or entity.

(g) This section shall not be construed to require a consumer reporting agency to maintain credit scores in its files.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 978, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2001. Operative July 1, 2001, by Sec. 7 of Ch. 978.)

1785.15.2.
  

(a) In complying with Section 1785.15.1, a consumer credit reporting agency shall supply the consumer with a credit score that is derived from a credit scoring model that is widely distributed to users by that consumer credit reporting agency in connection with residential real property loans or with a credit score that assists the consumer in understanding the credit scoring assessment of his or her credit behavior and predictions about his or her future credit behavior, and a statement indicating that the information and credit scoring model may be different than that used by the lender.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency may charge a reasonable fee for providing the information required under Section 1785.15.1.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 978, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2001. Operative July 1, 2001, by Sec. 7 of Ch. 978.)

1785.15.3.
  

(a) In addition to any other rights the consumer may have under this title, every consumer credit reporting agency, after being contacted by telephone, mail, or in person by any consumer who has reason to believe he or she 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 title.

(b) Every consumer credit reporting agency shall, upon the receipt from a victim of identity theft of a police report prepared pursuant to Section 530.6 of the Penal Code, or a valid investigative report made by a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator with peace officer status regarding the public offenses described in Section 530.5 of the Penal Code, provide the victim, free of charge and upon request, with up to 12 copies of his or her file during a consecutive 12-month period, not to exceed one copy per month, following the date of the police report. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the maximum number of free reports a victim of identity theft is entitled to obtain under this title is 12 per year, as provided by this subdivision.

(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a consumer reporting agency that acts only as a reseller of credit information by assembling and merging information contained in the database of another consumer reporting agency or agencies and that does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new credit reports are produced.

(d) The provisions of this section shall become effective July 1, 2003.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 860, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2003. Section operative July 1, 2003, pursuant to subd. (d).)

1785.16.
  

(a) If the completeness or accuracy of any item of information contained in his or her 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 shall within a reasonable period of time and without charge, reinvestigate and record the current status of the disputed information before the end of the 30-business-day period beginning on 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, including by reason of a failure of the consumer to provide sufficient information, as requested by the consumer credit reporting agency, to investigate the dispute. Unless the consumer credit reporting agency determines that the dispute is frivolous or irrelevant, before the end of the five-business-day period beginning on the date the consumer credit reporting agency receives notice of dispute under this section, the agency shall notify any person who provided information in dispute at the address and in the manner specified by the person. A consumer credit reporting agency may require that disputes by consumers be in writing.

(b) In conducting that 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 promptly notify the consumer 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, within five business days of reinserting the information, 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 15 days following a request, the name, address, and telephone number of any furnisher of information contacted or which 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 his or her 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 under this subdivision, within five days of completion of the reinvestigation. The notice shall include (1) a statement that the reinvestigation is completed, (2) a consumer credit report that is based on the consumer’s file as that file is revised as a result of the reinvestigation, (3) a description or indication of any changes made in the consumer credit report as a result of those revisions to the consumer’s file and a description of any changes made or sought by the consumer that were not made and an explanation why they were not made, (4) a notice that, if requested by the consumer, a description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information shall be provided to the consumer by the consumer credit reporting agency, including the name, business address, and telephone number of any furnisher of information contacted in connection with that information, (5) a notice that the consumer has the right to add a statement to the consumer’s file disputing the accuracy or completeness of the information, (6) a notice that the consumer has the right to request that the consumer credit reporting agency furnish notifications under subdivision (h), (7) a notice that the dispute will remain on file with the agency as long as the credit information is used, and (8) a statement about the details of the dispute will be furnished to any recipient as long as the credit information is retained in the agency’s data base. A consumer credit reporting agency shall provide the notice pursuant to this subdivision respecting the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of information, not later than 15 days after receiving a request from the consumer.

(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 pursuant to subdivision (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 100 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 shall, in any subsequent consumer credit report containing the information in question, 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 pursuant to this section, or following the filing of a statement of dispute pursuant to subdivision (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 pursuant to subdivision (f). This notification shall be furnished to any person designated by the consumer who has, within two years prior to the deletion or the filing of the dispute, received a consumer credit report concerning the consumer for employment purposes, or who has, within 12 months of the deletion or the filing of the dispute, 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 his or her rights to make a request for this notification. The disclosure shall be made at or prior to the time the information is deleted pursuant to this section or the consumer’s statement regarding the disputed information is received pursuant to subdivision (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 information that has been deleted pursuant to this section and not reinserted pursuant to subdivision (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 subdivision (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 subdivisions (d), (f), and (g).

(k) If a consumer submits to a credit reporting agency a copy of a valid police report, or a valid investigative report made by a Department of Motor Vehicles investigator with peace officer status, filed pursuant to Section 530.5 of the Penal Code, the consumer credit reporting agency shall promptly and permanently block reporting any information that the consumer alleges appears on his or her credit report as a result of a violation of Section 530.5 of the Penal Code 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. Furnishers of information and consumer credit reporting agencies shall ensure that information is unblocked only upon a preponderance of the evidence establishing the facts required under paragraph (1), (2), or (3). The permanently blocked information shall be unblocked only if: (1) the information was blocked due to a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer or fraud, or (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 he or she obtained possession of goods, services, or moneys as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions. If blocked information is unblocked pursuant to this subdivision, the consumer shall be promptly notified in the same manner as consumers are notified of the reinsertion of information pursuant to subdivision (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 he or she obtained possession of any goods, services, or moneys. For the purposes of this subdivision, fraud may be demonstrated by circumstantial evidence. In unblocking information pursuant to this subdivision, furnishers and consumer credit reporting agencies shall be subject to their respective requirements pursuant to this title regarding the completeness and accuracy of information.

(l) In unblocking information as described in subdivision (k), a consumer reporting agency shall comply with all requirements of this section and 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681i relating to reinvestigating disputed information. In addition, a consumer reporting agency shall accept the consumer’s version of the disputed information and correct or delete the disputed item when the consumer submits to the consumer reporting agency documentation obtained from the source of the item in dispute or from public records confirming that the report was inaccurate or incomplete, unless the consumer 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, explaining its reasons for unblocking the information 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.

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 354, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.)

1785.16.1.
  

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, as defined in Section 1798.92.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 354, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2002.)

1785.16.2.
  

(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, as defined in Section 1798.2, and with respect to that debt, the creditor has received notice pursuant to subdivision (k) of Section 1785.16 or paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1788.18.

(b) Subdivision (a) does 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, does not apply.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 376, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

1785.16.3.
  

The provisions of subdivisions (k) and (l) of Section 1785.16 do not apply to a consumer reporting agency that acts only as a reseller of credit information by assembling and merging information contained in the database of another consumer reporting agency or agencies, and that does not maintain a permanent database of credit information from which new credit reports are produced.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1029, Sec. 2. Effective September 28, 2002.)

1785.17.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided, a consumer credit reporting agency may impose a reasonable charge upon a consumer, as follows:

(1) For making a disclosure pursuant to Section 1785.10 or 1785.15, the consumer credit reporting agency may charge a fee not exceeding eight dollars ($8).

(2) For furnishing a notification, statement, or summary, to any person pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1785.16, the consumer credit reporting agency may charge a fee not exceeding the charge that it would impose on each designated recipient for a consumer credit report, and the amount of the charge shall be indicated to the consumer before furnishing the notification, statement, or summary.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency shall make all disclosures pursuant to Sections 1785.10 and 1785.15 and furnish all consumer reports pursuant to Section 1785.16 without charge, if requested by the consumer within 60 days after receipt by the consumer of a notification of adverse action pursuant to Section 1785.20 or of a notification from a debt collection agency affiliated with the consumer credit reporting agency stating that the consumer’s credit rating may be or has been adversely affected.

(c) A consumer credit reporting agency shall not impose any charge for (1) providing notice to a consumer required under Section 1785.16 or (2) notifying a person pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1785.16 of the deletion of any information which is found to be inaccurate or which can no longer be verified, if the consumer designates that person to the consumer credit reporting agency before the end of the 30-day period beginning on that date of notice under subdivision (d) of Section 1785.16.

(Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1194, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 1993. Operative July 1, 1993, by Sec. 13 of Ch. 1194.)

1785.18.
  

(a) Each consumer credit reporting agency which compiles and reports items of information concerning consumers which 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 there be such, and the date that the information was initially reported or publicized.

(b) A consumer credit reporting agency which furnishes a consumer credit report for employment purposes, and which for that purpose compiles and reports items of information on consumers which are matters of public record and are likely to have an adverse effect upon a consumer’s ability to obtain employment shall, in addition, maintain strict procedures designed to ensure that whenever public record information which is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported it is complete and up to date. For purposes of this paragraph, items of public record relating to arrests, indictments, convictions, suits, tax liens, and outstanding judgments shall be considered up to date if the current public record status of the item at the time of the report is reported.

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

(Amended by Stats. 1991, Ch. 971, Sec. 1.)

1785.19.
  

(a)  In addition to any other remedy provided by law, a consumer may bring an action for a civil penalty, not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), against any of the following:

(1) A person who knowingly and willfully obtains access to a file other than as provided in Section 1785.11.

(2) Any person who knowingly and willfully obtains data from a file other than as provided in Section 1785.11.

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

Such an action may also be brought by the person or entity responsible for the file accessed. This remedy is in addition to any other remedy which may exist.

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

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 842, Sec. 2.)

1785.19.5.
  

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 does not apply to the use of information by a credit grantor for purposes related to an existing credit relationship.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 842, Sec. 3.)

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