Responding to Direct and Indirect Identity Theft Disputes Under the FCRA: What Are The Differences?

September 7, 2023
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We first review the Fair Credit Reporting Act provisions that establish the different requirements for how a creditor or other furnisher of information to a credit bureau must respond to direct and indirect identify theft disputes involving credit report information reported by the furnisher to a credit bureau. A direct dispute is one made directly by the consumer to the furnisher and an indirect dispute is one made by the consumer to the credit bureau and then submitted to the furnisher by the credit bureau. In particular, we focus on the information that a furnisher may require from a consumer before investigating each type of dispute. We then look at the factors courts have considered in decisions involving whether, in connection with an indirect identity theft dispute, a furnisher satisfied the FCRA requirement to conduct a reasonable investigation. We conclude with a discussion of best practices for furnishers to consider when handling investigations of  indirect identity theft disputes.

Alan Kaplinsky, Senior Counsel in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Financial Services Group, leads the conversation joined by Melanie Vartabedian and Joel Tasca, partners in the Group.

View the recording transcript here. 

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