|For Immediate Release
||CONTACT: Christi Powers
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org
State Bar of Wisconsin issues consumer alert
Dispels misinformation concerning credit reports
MADISON, May 19, 2003 - The State Bar of Wisconsin
has issued an alert to warn consumers of false information distributed
via e-mail concerning their credit reports.
The State Bar's Consumer Information & Protection committee
cautions consumers about a rumor currently circulating, that after July
1, 2003, anyone who asks will have access to your credit report.
"This is false," said Jim Rabbit, a division administrator for the
Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection. "The rules
about credit report access are not changing on July 1 and will continue
with their current limitations," he said.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines cite that credit
information can only be released to lenders and insurers or entities
with a legitimate business need. If a credit record is obtained and used
for unsolicited offers, consumers can opt out of this process by calling
Rabbit noted that the rumors may have stemmed from a
misinterpretation of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that sets a July 1
deadline requiring financial institutions to notify consumers of the
institution's privacy policies concerning release of their personal
financial information. This federal law was passed to prevent obtaining
personal information without consumer consent in an attempt to market
products to them.
"This deadline only applies to institutions - not to consumers,"
said. "But we still advise folks to not give out personal information on
the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know who
you're dealing with," he said.
For more information about the e-mail, FTC guidelines or other credit
issues, visit www.legalexplorer.com
or contact Kris Wenzel at (608) 250-6185.