“Specialty consumer reports” are compiled by specialty consumer agencies for targeted users such as insurance companies, employers, and landlords. The agencies collect information from a variety of sources and may include civil and criminal records, credit history, bankruptcy filings, driving records, business relationship information with banks or insurance companies, and even medical information.
Most consumers are unaware of the existence of a “specialty consumer report” unless they have been denied a job, insurance, or housing rental. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) imposes certain obligations on the specialty reporting agencies, the users of such reports, and those that furnish information for the reports. (See http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/credit/bus33.shtm for more information.) When adverse action is taken based on the information in the report, the FCRA mandates that users of specialty consumer reports provide to the subject an “adverse action notice” along with a free copy of the report. The subject also has the right to dispute inaccurate information.