The following is an important message for all employers that use credit reporting agencies to perform pre-employment background checks or other related investigations:

If your business, or the credit reporting agency performing background checks on your behalf, currently provides any of the following three forms to employees or applicants regarding their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), please note that newly modified versions of those forms have been released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and must be in use by January 1, 2013. 

The modified forms include:

  • “A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” which employers must provide to applicants and employees along with any pre-adverse action notice, or along with any disclosure notices when obtaining an investigative consumer report;
  • “Notice to Users of Consumer Reports:  Obligations of Users under the FCRA,” which background check providers must give to those using their services, including employers; and 
  • “Notice to Furnishers of Information:   Obligations of Furnishers under the FCRA,” which background check providers must give to certain furnishers of information in specific situations.

Samples of the modified forms are available here, as Appendices K, M, and N. 

The modifications to these forms are not substantive, but rather primarily substitute references to the Federal Trade Commission, which previously enforced the FCRA, with references to the CFPB, a new regulatory authority created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that has recently taken over enforcement of the FCRA.  The modified forms thus inform consumers that beginning January 1, 2013, the CFPB is the appropriate agency to contact regarding their rights under the FCRA.