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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter FPart 609 → §609.3


Title 16: Commercial Practices
PART 609—FREE ELECTRONIC CREDIT MONITORING FOR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY


§609.3   Requirement to provide free electronic credit monitoring service.

(a) General requirements. Nationwide consumer reporting agencies must provide a free electronic credit monitoring service to active duty military consumers.

(b) Determining whether a consumer must receive electronic credit monitoring service. Nationwide consumer reporting agencies may condition provision of the service required under paragraph (a) of this section upon the consumer providing:

(1) Appropriate proof of identity;

(2) Contact information; and

(3) Appropriate proof that the consumer is an active duty military consumer.

(c) Appropriate proof of active duty military consumer status. (1) A consumer's status as an active duty military consumer can be verified through:

(i) A method or service approved by the Department of Defense; or

(ii) A certification of active duty military consumer status approved by the nationwide consumer reporting agency.

(2) Provided, however, that the procedures a nationwide consumer reporting agency uses to determine appropriate proof of active duty military consumer status must include methods that allow all eligible consumers to enroll. A nationwide consumer reporting agency shall be deemed in compliance with paragraph (c) of this section if it provides free electronic credit monitoring services to:

(i) Consumers who self-certify active duty status, as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(d);

(ii) Consumers who self-certify that they are a reservist performing duty under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in 10 U.S.C. 101(a)(13); and

(iii) Consumers who self-certify that they are a member of the National Guard, as defined in 10 U.S.C. 101(c).

(3) A nationwide consumer reporting agency's verification of active duty military consumer status is valid for two years. After the expiration of the two-year period, the nationwide consumer reporting agency may require the consumer to provide proof that the consumer continues to be an active duty military consumer in accordance with paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section.

(d) Information use and disclosure. Any information collected from consumers as a result of a request to obtain the service required under paragraph (a) of this section, may be used or disclosed by the nationwide consumer reporting agency only:

(1) To provide the free electronic credit monitoring service requested by the consumer;

(2) To process a transaction requested by the consumer at the same time as a request for the free electronic credit monitoring service;

(3) To comply with applicable legal requirements; or

(4) To update information already maintained by the nationwide consumer reporting agency for the purpose of providing consumer reports, provided that the nationwide consumer reporting agency uses and discloses the updated information subject to the same restrictions that would apply, under any applicable provision of law or regulation, to the information updated or replaced.

(e) Communications surrounding enrollment in electronic credit monitoring service. (1) Once a consumer is in the process of accessing the ability to enroll in the service required under paragraph (a) of this section and only during the enrollment process, any advertising or marketing for products or services, or any communications or instructions that advertise or market any products and services, must be delayed until after the consumer has enrolled in that service.

(2) Any communications, instructions, or permitted advertising or marketing shall not interfere with, detract from, contradict, or otherwise undermine the purpose of providing a free electronic credit monitoring service to active duty military consumers that notifies them of any material additions or modifications to their files.

(3) Examples of interfering, detracting, inconsistent, and/or undermining communications include:

(i) Materials that represent, expressly or by implication, that an active duty military consumer must purchase a paid product or service in order to receive the service required under paragraph (a) of this section; or

(ii) Materials that falsely represent, expressly or by implication, that a product or service offered ancillary to receipt of the free electronic credit monitoring service, such as identity theft insurance, is free, or that fail to clearly and prominently disclose that consumers must cancel a service, advertised as free for an initial period of time, to avoid being charged, if such is the case.

(f) Other prohibited practices. A nationwide consumer reporting agency shall not ask or require an active duty military consumer to agree to terms or conditions in connection with obtaining a free electronic credit monitoring service, other than those terms or conditions required to comply with applicable legal requirements.

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