New York

State of New York Issues “Emergency Regulation” Regarding Consumer Protection

Recently, the State of New York has issued an “emergency regulation” regarding consumer protection following a data breach in consumer credit reporting. Labeling new rules as an “emergency” means they may take effect immediately with no hearings or previous notice.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York Department of State to issue new regulations holding consumer credit reporting agencies accountable to the public. The regulations, adopted on an emergency basis and effective immediately, require consumer credit reporting agencies to respond within 10 days to requests made by the Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection on behalf of consumers.

The new regulations to protect consumers

  • Specifically, the regulations defines “consumer credit reporting agency” as a consumer reporting agency that regularly engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating and maintaining, for the purpose of furnishing consumer credit reports to third parties bearing on a consumer’s creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity, public record information and credit account information from persons who furnish that information regularly and in the ordinary course of business.
  • Require consumer credit reporting agencies to identify dedicated points of contact for the Division of Consumer Protection so the Division can obtain vital information necessary to assist New York consumers;
  • Require a timely response—within 10 days—by consumer credit reporting agencies to information requests made on behalf of consumers by the Division of Consumer Protection;
  • Require consumer credit reporting agencies to file with the Division of Consumer Protection, and to plainly disclose to consumers all fees associated with the purchase or use of products and services marketed as identity theft protection products, including when those products are originally offered for “free”; and
  • Require consumer credit reporting agencies to file with the Division of Consumer Protection a list and description of all business affiliations and contractual relationships they have with companies marketing credit monitoring and related products.

The regulations are available online here.

The Division of Consumer Protection will also issue a demand letter to Equifax for vital information necessary to help the Division properly assess the damage and risk of identity theft to New York State consumers resulting from the data breach.

For questions on credit reports please contact Accredited Background Checks at 800-221-4291.