Consumer Reporting Agencies

We offer clients clear and actionable guidance for compliance with complicated laws and regulations that govern the collection and use of consumer personal data as well as litigation defense and mitigation.

Overview

We advise and defend consumer reporting agencies as well as data providers, furnishers and others who service the background screening industry. Our representation is comprehensive, including advising clients on compliance matters, review and drafting of policies and procedures, review of service agreements, and representation with respect to pre-litigation demand letters, indemnification demands and individual and class action litigation. We represent credit reporting agencies, employment background and tenant-screening companies as well as companies that furnish them with public record information and industry trade associations.

We handle complicated compliance issues relating to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), and other federal and state statutes related to consumer reporting.  We also advise clients on data security issues and obligations related to data breaches and notification under state laws. We have a strong record of accomplishment in defending consumer reporting agencies in FCRA litigation as lead counsel in class action and individual-claims litigation around the country. We also provide legislative and regulatory representation on issues pending before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Our team also has extensive experience advising clients on non-FCRA regulated products, including whether an offering is subject to the FCRA. Our attorneys are also well-versed on state privacy laws such a the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and compliance with international regulations such as the European Union’s General Data Protection (GDPR), cross-border transfers of personal data from the European Union (EU) to the United States and certification under the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks as well as standard contractual clauses.

AGG attorneys have represented clients before the FTC, CFPB as well as federal and state court in civil investigative demands, non-public inquiries and contested litigation regarding FCRA issues.

Our attorneys have served as national legislative counsel to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), now the Professional Background Screeners Association (PBSA). We are active participants with PBSA, engaged in committees as well as regularly speaking at PBSA conferences and on association-sponsored webinars. We serve as counsel for the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA).  AGG attorneys have appeared and spoken or advocated before the FTC, CFPB, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce on issues that impact the background screening industry.

Experience

  • Advise multiple background screening companies on compliance with the FCRA as well as state laws related to consumer reporting restrictions and fair chance hiring laws (aka Ban the Box). Legal counsel includes addressing policies and procedures for consumer reporting agencies, drafting and review of service and end-user agreements, and advising on application of law.
  • Lead counsel defending a consumer reporting agency in a nationwide putative class action brought in Ohio under the Fair Credit Reporting Act addressing background checks run for applicants seeking on-site access to several major railroad properties.
  • Lead counsel successfully resolving a portfolio of claims against a consumer reporting agency, the majority of which pre-litigation, including claims in California and Georgia.
  • Lead counsel successfully representing a consumer reporting agency secure the prompt dismissal of a putative nationwide class action filed in California that remains pending against other defendants.
  • Advised a publicly traded corporation regarding the potential jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over the operations of multiple subsidiaries. Work included assessments of whether subsidiaries were “covered persons”, whether subsidiaries may be considered to be “larger participants” subject to CFPB supervision, and authority the CFPB may exercise over the company and its subsidiaries under consumer protection statutes for which full or partial authority was transferred to the CFPB.
  • Successfully represented a consumer reporting agency before the Federal Trade Commission in a nonpublic FTC inquiry into compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Following document productions, responses to interrogatories, and meetings with the FTC staff, the inquiry was closed without further action by the FTC.
  • Served as lead counsel for a national consumer reporting agency in the first Federal Trade Commission data breach investigation and action.
  • Represented a large consumer information company in one of the nation’s first high profile data breaches. In addition to representing the client before the Federal Trade Commission, we also advised the client on consumer breach notification issues, congressional testimony, and enhancements to the client’s internal controls.
  • Provided counsel and strategic advice to the background screening industry on employment and tenant screening issues before the U.S. Congress and multiple federal agencies.

    Recognition

    Kevin Coy and Montserrat Miller are certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as Certified Information Privacy Professionals in both the designations for the United States and European Union (CIPP/US and CIPP/E).

     

    AGG is a recognized member in good standing with the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).

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