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U.S. consumer watchdog warns credit-reporting agencies to improve access

Nov 30 2012 Emily Stephenson, Reuters

The U.S. consumer watchdog said on Thursday that it sent letters to six specialty consumer reporting agencies warning that they may be breaking the law by failing to make it easy for people to get a free annual copy of their consumer reports. Consumers have the right to a report each year from nationwide specialty consumer reporting companies, which collect information and report on check-writing, medical payments and other transactions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said. But the CFPB said some of these private companies fail to provide toll-free numbers or lack a simple process for consumers to obtain a free report. The bureau did not name the companies, which could face enforcement actions if the CFPB determines that they are breaking the law. "Nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies can have great influence over a consumer's tenancy, insurance premiums, or even employment," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. "If we have reason to believe

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