FCRA Credit Freeze Updates

The Economic, Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Action (S. 2155) has gone into effect. The new Act, among other things, amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to require that any time a consumer is required to receive a Summary of Rights notice under FCRA section 609, new section 605A(i)(5) requires the Federal Security Freeze Notice to be provided to the consumer regarding their right to obtain a security freeze.



  • When was the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S.2155) signed into law and effective?
    • The Act was signed on May 24, 2018, and is effective Friday, September 21, 2018.
  • Is the Federal Security Freeze required of all consumer reporting agencies (CRAs)?
    • Yes, even though the new requirements to place a federal security freeze under federal law applies only to nationwide consumer reporting agencies (i.e. credit bureaus), all CRAs must provide the additional security freeze notice when a Summary of Rights is required by FCRA Section 609.
  • How is Sterling Volunteers ensuring compliance with this act?
    • Sterling Volunteers is in full compliance with the new CRA requirements and is providing the new security freeze notice as an additional notice whenever the Summary of Rights is provided to consumers through Sterling Volunteers. If a client is using Sterling Volunteers, including the Electronic Disclosure and Authorization form or Sterling Volunteer’s adverse action services, the Summary of Rights notices will contain the new security freeze notice by default.
  • Is the current version of Summary of Rights changing at all?
    • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule with a new draft Summary of Rights which is subject to a 60-day comment period by the public. The CFPB has stated that the use of the old consumer notices will still constitute compliance with the FCRA requirements under section 609 so long as a separate page that contains the additional required information is provided in the same transmittal to the consumer. Once the CFPB issues its final rule and the draft Summary of Rights becomes final, Sterling Volunteers will perform an additional update to our systems.
  • Where can the full text of the law be found?
    • The full text of the law can be found here.
  • Is it possible a consumer could receive a federal and state specific security freeze notice at the same time?
    • Yes. There are state laws that also require a credit freeze notice to be provided upon the procurement of a consumer report.
  • Is the security freeze notice required to be provided to an applicant/consumer if they are provided a copy of the Summary of Rights of Identity Theft Victims? 
    • Yes. The new law requires the federal security freeze notice to be provided to applicants under Section 609 of the FCRA when a consumer requests a copy of their report and/or the applicant expresses a belief that they are a victim of fraud or identity theft involving their credit.
  • Does the security freeze apply to Sterling Volunteers’s background reports?
    • No. The consumer’s right to place a security freeze pertains to their credit report. It does not place a freeze on background check reports.
  • What if the background check report contains a credit report? Does the consumer have the ability to place a security freeze on the Sterling Volunteers background check report?
    • No. The security freeze is only applicable to a credit report. If the consumer places a security freeze on their credit report prior to Sterling Volunteers adding a credit report to the background report, then Sterling Volunteers would not be able to access the consumer’s credit report and add it to the background report.

PLEASE NOTE: Documents/presentations should NOT be construed as legal advice, guidance or counsel. Employers should consult their own attorney about their compliance responsibilities under the FCRA and applicable state and municipal law. Sterling Infosystems expressly disclaims any warranties or responsibility for damages associated with or arising out of this document/presentation or other information provided.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials