FTC: For Your Information:
Announced Actions for September 10, 2004
Commission authorization of the staff to file amicus brief: The Commission has authorized the staff of the FTC’s Office of the General Counsel to file an amicus brief in the matter of Ashby, et al. v. Farmers Group, Inc., No 04-35394 (9th Cir.). The FTC’s brief supports appellant Douglas Ashby and urges reversal of the district court’s decision. In this case, the plaintiffs allege that when a consumer applies for insurance, Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon (FICO) requests a consumer report (commonly known as a “credit report”) regarding the consumer. FICO then uses information in the report to set the initial rate for the insurance it offers the consumer. Specifically, plaintiff Ashby alleges that FICO set the price for the insurance it offered him higher than the price it would have set if the information in his report had been more favorable, and that this constituted an “adverse action,” as that term is defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition, the plaintiff claims that FICO violated the FCRA by failing to provide him with an adverse action notice, as required by the Act. The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that the FCRA’s definition of adverse action does not encompass setting a higher initial price for insurance. According to the staff, the court improperly ignored the FCRA’s legislative history in making this determination.
As detailed in the brief, which is available on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, the Commission has recommended that the Ninth Circuit reverse the district court’s interpretation of “adverse action,” and hold that an insurer takes “adverse action” with respect to a consumer, where, when setting the initial prices of insurance, the insurer offers insurance only at less favorable terms based on the information in the consumer’s credit report.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the amicus brief was 5-0. This is the fourth brief the staff has filed related to this issue, with similar briefs filed in the Ninth Circuit in Spano v. Safeco, Rausch v. Hartford, and Willes v. State Farm. (FTC File No. P042119; the staff contact is Lawrence DeMille-Wagman, Office of the General Counsel, 202-326-2448; see related press releases issued on January 23, February 24, and August 6, 2004).
Commission approval of proposed divestiture: The Commission has approved an application for proposed divestiture from GenCorp, Inc., related to the FTC’s consent order, arising out of GenCorp’s purchase of the propulsion business of Sequa’s Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC). Under the terms of the consent order, first announced on October 15, 2003, and made final on December 30, 2003, GenCorp is required to divest ARC’s in-space liquid propulsion business within six months of completing the acquisition of ARC. Through the application, GenCorp petitioned the Commission for approval to divest ARC’s in-space liquid propulsion assets, as that term is defined in the order, to American Pacific Corporation. The Commission also has approved an extension of the time to complete the proposed divestiture, until September 30, 2004.
The Commission vote to approve the proposed divestiture was 3-0-1, with Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras recused. (FTC Docket No. C-4099, File No. 031-0152; the staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2526; see press releases issued October 15 and December 30, 2003, and May 21, 2004.)
Commission approval of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved the publication of a Federal Register notice regarding the Labeling Requirements for Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fueled Vehicles. As detailed in the notice, which is available on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release and will be issued shortly, the FTC is publishing amendments to the Rule to delete vehicle-specific emissions information and add a reference to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) green vehicle guide Web site. EPA’s guide provides detailed, comparative information regarding vehicle emissions generally and by model.
The FTC undertook this rulemaking proceeding because the emissions standards on the current alternative fueled vehicle (AFV) label are obsolete as of the 2004 model year, and the Ford Motor Company petitioned the Commission to revise the label. The FTC also conducted a review of the Rule through its regulatory review program. The amendments will become effective 180 days after they are published in the Register. The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 5-0. (FTC File No. R311002; staff contact is Neil Blickman, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3038.)
Commission approval of final consent order: Following a public comment period, the Commission has approved a final consent order in the matter concerning Prince Lionheart, Inc. The Commission vote to approve the final consent order and send a letter to the commenter of record was 4-0. (FTC File No. 032-3245; the staff contact is Carol J. Jennings, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3010; see press release dated June 21, 2004.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.
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- General Discussions, Forum Registration, and ID Theft and Credit-Related News Stories
- General Discussion
- News Stories on Identity Theft, Personal Data Thefts and Credit Reporting Abuses
- Current Cases
- Lawyer Jokes
- FCRA Statute and Defined Terms Under the FCRA
- FCRA Statute And Amendments: 15 U.S.C. 1681, et. seq.
- What is a Consumer [Credit] Reporting Agency?
- What is a Consumer [Credit] Report?
- Resellers: Who are They? What Do They Do? Are They Liable Under the FCRA?
- Investigative Consumer [Credit] Reports
- Who is a Furnisher?
- How to Get Your Credit Reports and How and Who to Write Your Dispute Letters to
- How To Get Your Credit Reports
- Dispute Letters
- Do You Have To Pay For Your Credit Report?
- FCRA Private Rights of Action and Duties Imposed by the FCRA
- Impermissible Access: 15 U.S.C. 1681b[f] and 1681q
- Front End Duties of the Credit Reporting Agencies: 15 U.S.C. 1681e(b)
- Back End Duties of the CRAs: 1681i[a]:
- Credit Bureau's Duty to Provide Consumer Documentation to Furnisher: 1681i[a][B]
- Duty to Add a Consumer's Dispute Statement in Association with a Specific Account and In Connection with the Credit File/Report: 15 U.S.C. 1681i[c]
- Furnisher FCRA Liability: 15 U.S.C. 1681s-2
- Failing to Mark Contested Accounts As Disputed: 15 U.S.C. 1681s-2[a]
- Obsolescence: When Must the Credit Reportings Come Off of the Credit Report: 15 U.S.C. 1681c
- Duty to Notate Disputed Accounts As Such: 15 U.S.C. 1681c[f]
- Adverse Action Notice Rules: 15 U.S.C. 1681m and ECOA
- Credit Solicitations Are Required to be Clear and Conspicuous: 1681m[d]
- Potential Exposure For Sanctions Due to Filing Bad Faith FCRA Cases: 15 U.S.C. 1681n[c], 28 U.S.C. 1927, and Fed.R.Civ.Proc. 11
- Credit Repair Organizations Act [CROA]
- 1681g: Credit Bureaus' Duties to Provide Reports/Disclosures and to Add 100 Word Statements of the Consumer
- Affiliate Sharing Problems and Violations, 15 U.S.C. 1681s-3
- Common Credit Report Errors and Agency Misconduct
- Credit Errors
- Theft of Identity
- Mixed File Cases
- Re-Aging: Debt Collector's Efforts to Revive Obsolete Reportings
- Reinsertion of Previously Deleted Data: How and When Can It Happen?
- VIP Databases and Offline Status
- Deceased Reporting Cases
- Causation: The Crucial Link Between Breach of a Duty and Damages
- Causation to Damage [Proving Your Damages Are Related to and Caused by the Defendants
- Types of Damages, Remedies, and Awards Under the FCRA and Related State Law Claims
- Damages Under FCRA
- Punitive Damages: 15 U.S.C. 1681n
- Injunctive Relief: FCRA and State Law
- Attorneys' Fees, Litigation Expenses and Costs:
- Declaratory Relief Under the FCRA
- What is Your Potential Case Worth? Other Case Verdicts, etc.
- FCRA Jury and Bench Trial Verdicts
- Other Federal Laws Related to Credit Reporting, Data Privacy, Billing Errors and ID Theft
- FDCPA Statute And Amendments: 15 U.S.C. 1692, et. seq.
- Fair Credit Billing Act, 15 U.S.C. 1666, et. seq.
- Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, 18 U.S.C. §1028
- Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) and Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (“HAFA”)
- State Law Claims Related to Credit Reporting, Billing Errors, Privacy Breaches and ID Theft
- Invasion of Privacy: State Law
- Defamation: State Law
- Interference With Prospective Credit: State Law
- Interference With Marital/Family Relations: State Law
- Infliction of Emotional Distress/Mental Anguish: State Law
- Data Breach Claims and Issues
- Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Claims: State Law
- Jurisdiction, Venue, Removal to Federal Court, Remand to State Court, and Other Pre-Trial Jurisdicti
- Removal of FCRA Cases From State Court To Federal Court
- Personal Jurisdiction and Venue in Credit Reporting Cases
- FCRA Litigation Strategies and Procedural Issues and Law
- Settlements, Releases, Prevailing Party Status, and Other Things You Need to Know If You Resolve Your Case Before Judgment
- Offers of Judgment In FCRA Litigation
- Secret Documents, Product Information and Testimony
- Choicepoint Secret Documents:
- Equifax/CSC and Affiliates Secret Documents:
- Experian Secret Documents
- Innovis Secret Documents:
- Trans Union Secret Documents
- Furnisher and Public Records Suppliers Secret Documents
- Respondeat Superior, Vicarious Liability, and Whether Others Are Liable
- Liability For Employee's FCRA Violations? Liability For FCRA Violations by Third Parties?
- FCRA Preemption, Immunity, and Qualified Immunity
- FCRA Preemption: 15 U.S.C. 1681t[b][F] and Related Discussions
- FCRA Qualified Immunity: 15 U.S.C. 1681h[e] and Related Discussions
- States/Govermental Immunity From FCRA Claims?
- Jury Voir Dire, Instructions, Verdict Forms, etc.
- Jury Instructions and Jury Verdict Forms
- Jury Questionnaires, Voir Dire, Jury Selection and Jury Bias
- Credit Card Issues
- Credit Card Liabilities
- Do You Have a Right to Bring Claims and How Long Do You Have?
- Statute Of Limitation: 15 U.S.C. 1681p
- Standing to Sue
- Credit Scores, Adverse Action Codes, and Other Report Codes
- Credit Scores, Adverse Action Codes, Risk Factors, Denial Codes and Other Scores and Codes Supplied by the Credit Reporting Agencies
- The Mechanics of Credit Reporting
- Public Records Reportings [Non-Bankruptcy]
- Bankruptcy Reporting
- Student Loan Credit Reporting
- Metro Tape [I and II]: Standardized Credit Reporting Formats Used by the Credit Industry
- Defenses Asserted by Credit Reporting Defendants
- What Law Applies? Problems Barring Use of the Court and Law
- Arbitration, Forum Selection, Choice of Law, Choice of Venue and Other Adhesionary Clauses
- Conflicts of Laws Issues in FCRA and Related State Law Issues
- Standing and Statutes of Limitations
- Statute Of Limitation: 15 U.S.C. 1681p
- FCRA Legal Forms [Suits, Discovery, etc.]
- Discovery: Interrogatories, Requests For Production of Documents, Requests to Inspect, Requests For Admissions, Deposition Notices, Subpoenas, Deposit
- FCRA Sample Pleadings: Complaints, Motions, Oppositions and Other Standard Lawsuit Filings
- Defenses Frequently Asserted by Defendants to Consumer's Actions
- FCRA Class Actions and Class Issues
- FCRA Class Actions
- Special Evidentiary Issues: What is Evidence?
- Evidentiary Issues in FCRA Cases
- Expert Witnesses, Special Issues and Daubert and Related Challenges
- Appellate Issues, Rules, Law, Etc.
- Defenses Asserted by Industry and Abuse Stories
- Defense Counsel Abuses and War Stories
- Law Outlines: Various Topics
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