Credit Bureaus or Consumer Reporting Agencies

What is a Consumer Reporting Agency

A Consumer Reporting Agency, also referred to as the credit bureau, means a person who is engaged in providing consumer reports to another person, whether for remuneration or otherwise.

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How to become registered as a Consumer Reporting Agency

Before operating in Newfoundland and Labrador a business entity wishing to provide the services of a Consumer Reporting Agency, where applicable must comply with the following:

  • Complete a Consumer Reporting Agency Application (88 KB) and submit a registration fee of $300. Cheques are to be made payable to the Newfoundland Exchequer Account;
  • If the business entity is a corporation, be in good standing as a company. If the corporation is outside Newfoundland and Labrador then they must be registered as an extra provincial corporation in this province. Please refer to the Registry of Companies for more information;
  • Have an address for service in the Province where a document sent or served under the Act shall be considered to be sufficiently given or served if delivered or sent by registered mail to the person at the address for service stated in the application for registration.

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What a Consumer Reporting Agency should know

Registration remains in effect subject to the filing of an annual report and the payment of an annual $300 fee or until cancelled by the licencee or suspended or cancelled under the Act. The filing is due every 12 months from the effective date of the original licence. The renewal form will be sent to your mailing address 60 days prior to the filing due date.

A Consumer Reporting Agency shall:

  • Notify the registrar in writing within 5 days of a change in the agency’s address for service and a change in the officers of the corporation;
  • During normal business hours, upon the request of a consumer, and without charge, disclose to the consumer whether or not it has collected or retains information respecting the consumer;
  • Produce for examination in written form, clearly understandable to the consumer, the contents of all the consumer information;
  • Disclose the names of the recipients of a consumer report and the contents of the report, made within a period of 1 year before the request;
  • Permit a person whom consumer information is disclosed to make a copy of the report.

A Consumer Report shall not contain:

  • Information of an unfavourable personal nature unless reasonable efforts have been made to corroborate the information;
  • Information as to judgements or judicial proceeding for the recovery of money owing for goods or services, or based upon a default, 7 years after the default occurred or the judgment was given;
  • Information as to bankruptcies 7 years from the date of a discharge, except where a consumer has been bankrupt more than once;
  • Information as to debt 6 years after it has become due, unless the debt has been acknowledged by the debtor in writing or by making part payment of the debt;
  • Information as to non-payment of taxes or lawfully imposed fines 7 years after they have become due;
  • Information as to convictions for crimes 7 years from the date of conviction or date of release or parole;
  • Information as to criminal charges where those charges have been dismissed or not proceeded with;
  • Information as to race, religion, sex, political opinion, colour or ethnic, national or social origin;
  • Information as to writs that are more than 7 years old;
  • Collect, store retain or report credit information unless it is capable of corroboration from another source.

The registrar may direct the alteration, amendment, restriction or prohibition of the use of consumer information that in his or her opinion is inaccurate or does not comply with the Act.

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What a consumer should know

You are entitled to receive a copy of your credit report for free. Most Consumer Reporting Agencies will also offer online service for a fee. If you are dealing with a Consumer Reporting Agency regarding your credit report and you feel the agency is violating the Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act you should contact the supervisor/manager of the agency in question and express your concerns. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved between you and the agency, we suggest you file a complaint with us. The complaint has to be registered by the person whose name appears on the report. To mail or fax your complaint, please download the Complaint Record Form (1 MB).

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Consumer Reporting Links

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Consumer Reporting Forms, Pamphlets and Information

If you still haven’t found the information you are looking for, please Contact our office.

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Contact Information

Consumer Affairs Division

Service NL
149 Smallwood Dr.
P.O. Box 8700
Mount Pearl, NL
A1B 4J6

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