Comment for 1002.12 - Record Retention
12(a) Retention of prohibited information.
1. Receipt of prohibited information. Unless the creditor specifically requested such information, a creditor does not violate this section when it receives prohibited information from a consumer reporting agency.
2. Use of retained information. Although a creditor may keep in its files prohibited information as provided in § 1002.12(a), the creditor may use the information in evaluating credit applications only if permitted to do so by § 1002.6.
12(b) Preservation of records.
1. Copies. Copies of the original record include carbon copies, photocopies, microfilm or microfiche copies, or copies produced by any other accurate retrieval system, such as documents stored and reproduced by computer. A creditor that uses a computerized or mechanized system need not keep a paper copy of a document (for example, of an adverse action notice) if it can regenerate all pertinent information in a timely manner for examination or other purposes.
2. Computerized decisions. A creditor that enters information items from a written application into a computerized or mechanized system and makes the credit decision mechanically, based only on the items of information entered into the system, may comply with § 1002.12(b) by retaining the information actually entered. It is not required to store the complete written application, nor is it required to enter the remaining items of information into the system. If the transaction is subject to § 1002.13 or the creditor is collecting information pursuant to § 1002.5(a)(4), however, the creditor is required to enter and retain the data on personal characteristics in order to comply with the requirements of that section.
1. Withdrawn and brokered applications. In most cases, the 25-month retention period for applications runs from the date a notification is sent to the applicant granting or denying the credit requested. In certain transactions, a creditor is not obligated to provide a notice of the action taken. (See, for example, comment 9-2.) In such cases, the 25-month requirement runs from the date of application, as when:
i. An application is withdrawn by the applicant.
ii. An application is submitted to more than one creditor on behalf of the applicant, and the application is approved by one of the other creditors.
1. The rule requires all written or recorded information about a self-test to be retained for 25 months after a self-test has been completed. For this purpose, a self-test is completed after the creditor has obtained the results and made a determination about what corrective action, if any, is appropriate. Creditors are required to retain information about the scope of the self-test, the methodology used and time period covered by the self-test, the report or results of the self-test including any analysis or conclusions, and any corrective action taken in response to the self-test.
12(b)(7) Preapplication Marketing Information
1. Prescreened credit solicitations. The rule requires creditors to retain copies of prescreened credit solicitations. For purposes of this part, a prescreened solicitation is an “offer of credit” as described in 15 U.S.C. 1681a(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A creditor complies with § 1002.12(b)(7) if it retains a copy of each solicitation mailing that contains different terms, such as the amount of credit offered, annual percentage rate, or annual fee.
2. List of criteria. A creditor must retain the list of criteria used to select potential recipients. This includes the criteria used by the creditor both to determine the potential recipients of the particular solicitation and to determine who will actually be offered credit.
3. Correspondence. A creditor may retain correspondence relating to consumers' complaints about prescreened solicitations in any manner that is reasonably accessible and is understandable to examiners. There is no requirement to establish a separate database or set of files for such correspondence, or to match consumer complaints with specific solicitation programs.