Say no to Credit Pulls

The below is general information only. The information is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such and is subject to the legal disclaimer.

In some situations, you can contract away or limit someone’s right to pull your credit report.For example, in Scott v. Real Estate Fin. Grp., 183 F.3d 97, 100 (2d Cir. 1999) potential renters of a house  conditioned “their offer to rent on the owner’s willingness to forego a credit check.” Id. at 100. The Scott Court held that “parties are free to contractually define whether or not a ‘legitimate business need’ exists ‘in connection with a business transaction.’” Id. Similarly in Uhlig v. Berge Ford, Inc., 257 F.Supp.2d 1228 (D.Ariz.2003), plaintiff purchased a vehicle from defendant with both a trade in and a personal check. During the sales transaction, defendant conducted a credit check despite plaintiff’s demand otherwise and she sought legal redress. In reliance on the Scott case, the district court explained that if parties can contractually agree to what a “legitimate business need” is, it could perceive no reason why they could not contractually agree as to whether any other purpose stated in section 1681b (a)(3) is permissible. Id. at 1233. But see Landeis v. Future Ford, 2:04-CV-2733-MCE-PAN, 2006 WL 1652659 (E.D. Cal. June 14, 2006) (expressly rejecting Uhlig).

 In Young v. Harbor Mortor Works, Inc., 2:07CV0031JVB, 2009 WL 187793 (N.D. Ind. Jan. 27, 2009) a prospect car buyer specifically only allowed the car dealer to submit his credit application to Honda Financial and to no other lenders. The Young Court held that this stated a claim for violation of the FCRA.

So you may be able prevent someone from obtaining your credit report, who would have otherwise have a permissible purpose for obtaining your credit report. You also may be able to limit who can see your credit report. But it’s no sure thing. And you have to be proactive about preventing or limiting those who can access your credit report.

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