WASHINGTON-While the spotlight was on the Federal Trade Commission during a Fair Credit Reporting Act hearing last week, the agency did not reveal its stance on the reauthorization of certain provisions in the law. FTC Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Howard Beales' prepared statement did say, "The FCRA helps make possible the vitality of modern consumer credit markets. The consumer reporting industry, furnishers, and users can all rely on the uniform framework of the FCRA in what has become a complex, nationwide business of making consumer credit available to a diverse, mobile American public." He did not come out and say whether FTC supports the law, which prevents each of the 50 states from writing their own laws and making compliance for lenders operating in more than one state extremely tricky. The Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), held the "Overview of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Issues Presented by the Re-authorization of the Expiring Preemption Provisions" hearing May 20. He said in his opening statement, "It is my hope and intent that, at the end of this process, we will have obtained a full sense of the value of our national system and will be able to balance the various issues presented by contemporary information use practices."

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