FTC Issues Interim Report to Congress on Results of Studies Required by FACT Act
December 6, 2006
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a report to Congress under Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which requires the FTC to study the accuracy and completeness of information in consumers’ credit reports and to consider methods for improving the accuracy and completeness of such information. The requirement includes five interim reports (every two years from December 2004) and a final report in 2014. The current report (attached) is the second interim report.
The first report outlined a pilot study for testing a potential methodology for a nationwide survey. In the pilot study, randomly selected consumers reviewed their credit reports with an expert to identify potential errors, and then disputed potential errors that the expert believed could have a non-trivial effect on their credit standing. Based upon the results, the FTC is formulating a follow-up pilot study in order to help improve the design for a nationwide survey that can accurately assess the credit reporting process.
The Commission’s goal is to achieve a nationwide survey of credit reports that focuses on consumers and their experiences in identifying and disputing errors, is based on a nationally representative sample, uses a reliable method for identifying errors and omissions, and categorizes errors by type and seriousness in terms of potential consumer harm. The Commission vote authorizing staff to issue the report to Congress was 5-0.