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Sale Of Personal Credit Data Banned
Federal Judge Upholds FTC Ban

May 8, 2001

By Sam Garcia

A federal judge has upheld a proposed Federal Trade Commission ban on sales of certain personal credit data, according to a story in the interactive edition of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) yesterday. As of July 1, credit bureaus and other data firms will no longer be allowed to sell names, addresses, Social Security numbers and other information taken from credit records.

This action comes on the same day that the mortgage industry announced that vital standards have been adopted for paperless transactions, which will help facilitate the adoption of electronic transactions. The ban on the sale of personal information may further increase the level of comfort consumers have with internet or electronic loan transactions.

According to WSJ.com, in a decision dated April 30 but released Monday, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the FTC's interpretation of a 1999 financial privacy law restricting sales of personal financial information.The story went on to say that the FTC prevailed over Trans Union LLC, Equifax Inc. and First Data Corp., which were represented by the industry's Individual References Services Group.

FTC deputy general counsel John Daly was quoted as saying, "They are foreclosed from using or disseminating personally identifiable information unless they have a consumer opt out."


Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is managing editor of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

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