Maine Amends its Fair Credit Reporting Act

By Michael Klazema on 8/9/2013

Maine amended its Fair Credit Reporting Act by repealing Title 10, Chapter 210 and enacting Title 10, Chapter 209-B of its Revised Statutes. The amendments went into effect June 7, 2013 when the legislature adopted Senate Bill 1410.

The new Act incorporates the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) while preserving enhanced protections found in the current state law. The result is a shorter, more concise state law. For example, there are fewer defined terms and the definitions are shorter.

The few substantive changes to the law are as follows:

  1. Section 1309 adopts the FCRA and preserves the State’s right to adopt rules consistent with the federal regulations.
  2. Section 1310-B states a person who knowingly and intentionally obtains information on a consumer from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses commits a Class D crime.
  3. Section 1310-H lists three additional state-specific provisions. First, a consumer reporting agency must provide one free consumer report to a consumer during each 12-month period if requested. A consumer reporting agency may charge a fee of not more than $5 for a second report provided to a consumer during the 12-month period. Another state-specific provision involves disputes. If a consumer disputes the accuracy of the information in a report, the consumer reporting agency must reinvestigate and record the current status of the information within 21 calendar days of the notification of dispute. An exception applies if the agency has reasonable grounds to believe that the dispute by the consumer is frivolous. There is also a nonliability clause in the Act. This clause states a person will not be held liable for a violation of Section 1310-H if he or she shows that at the time of the alleged violation the person maintained reasonable procedures to ensure compliance.

All references to the Act must be revised to reflect the new Code cite.

The text of Maine’s Fair Credit Reporting Act can be viewed here:

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