I’m a victim of trafficking. How can I block items from my credit report that are the result of trafficking?
To block trafficking-related information from your credit report, you must submit to the credit reporting agencies: (1) proof of your identity; (2) a determination that you were a victim of trafficking; and (3) identification of the negative information that resulted from trafficking and should be blocked from your report.
Within four business days after receiving your submission, consumer reporting agencies must block adverse information that resulted from trafficking from appearing on your credit report. This rule applies to all consumer reporting agencies.
Types of trafficking covered
You may be eligible for these blocking protections if you experienced the following:
- Sex trafficking – if you were recruited, transported, solicited, or harbored for the purpose of a commercial sex act or if you were induced into a commercial sex act by force, fraud, or coercion
- Labor trafficking – if you were transported or harbored by force or fraud for slavery, debt bondage, or involuntary servitude
What you need to submit
To block trafficking-related information from your credit report, you need to submit:
(1) Proof of identity
Each consumer reporting agency sets requirements for proof of identity. Examples that are likely to satisfy the requirements may include:
- driver’s license,
- government identification
- utility bills
If you don’t have this type of identification, the consumer reporting agencies must work with you to find another way to confirm your identity.
(2) Trafficking victim determination
A determination that you were a victim of trafficking may take several forms. It may include documents from courts or from federal, state, local, or tribal governmental entities. In addition, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or human trafficking task forces may be able to provide documentation of your status as a victim of trafficking. You also may provide a self-attestation, provided that it is signed by a representative from a governmental entity, court, authorized NGO or human trafficking task force.
(3) Identification of adverse information
You must identify the negative information on your credit report that resulted from trafficking. This documentation may consist of a statement that identifies different debts or items on your credit file that were connected to or were a result of trafficking. You can use this sample letter .
When can you expect a response from the consumer reporting agency?
After receiving your submission, the consumer reporting agency has four business days to block the information.
However, under limited circumstances, the consumer reporting agency has five business days to request additional information from you. They may request additional documentation only to establish proof of identity identity, to request a victim determination, or to identify the adverse items at issue. They may not, however, challenge whether the adverse information resulted from trafficking. If the credit reporting company requests additional documentation, they must make a final determination within 25 business days of your orginal submission.
When the consumer reporting agency makes its final determination, they must provide a:
- statement confirming the review has been completed;
- statement explaining the outcome;
- free credit report showing the revisions;
- description of the procedures used to determine the outcome;
- method for contacting them to appeal their determination or revise your submission; and
- webpage where you can submit a complaint to the CFPB.
If you have a problem with credit reporting, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB. For additional information, read the Final Rule and the CFPB’s Human Trafficking Fast Facts .