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Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act or FACTA, Pub.L. 108-159) which was passed by Congress on December 4, 2003 as an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can request and obtain a free credit report once every twelve months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission, the three major credit reporting agencies set up the website to provide free access to annual credit reports.

This act also contains provisions to help reduce identity theft, such as the ability for individuals to place alerts on their credit histories if identity theft is suspected, or if deploying overseas in the military, thereby making fraudulent applications for credit more difficult.

Another key item was the requirement that mortgage lenders provide consumers with a Credit Disclosure Notice that included their credit scores, range of scores, credit bureaus, scoring models, and factors affecting their scores. This form is typically available from credit reporting agencies, and many will send this directly to the consumer on the lenders behalf.

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