The New York State Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not allow dissemination of credit reports to others unless there is a legitimate business need but does not prohibit sharing information with the prospective tenant whom the report is about. In fact, if any adverse action is taken on the basis of the report, the user of the report must advise the prospective tenant that such action was taken because of information in the report. Since the entire purpose of the credit report legislation is to increase transparency for the subjects of the reports, it would not make sense to prevent prospective tenants from learning information about themselves found in credit reports. Prior to the FCRA, though, the law may have been different in this regard.
Similarly, credit reporting company policies seem to permit discussing the report with the prospective tenant. However, there may be issues with actually distributing the entire report to the prospective tenant because the reporting companies usually require that every user purchase a separate report. This therefore depends on the specific policies of the credit reporting company.
To conclude, there does not seem to be any problem discussing the contents of the report with the subject of the report but actually distributing the entire report to the prospective tenant may violate the specific credit reporting company’s policies. Of course, the prospective tenant may request their own free credit report each year from www.annualcreditreport.com.
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