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WASHINGTON- President George W. Bush signed the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, H.R. 2622, into law Dec. 4 during a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The president remarked on how the law would help Americans across all income levels retain access to affordable credit. The bill renews the Fair Credit Reporting Act federal preemptions, which were set to expire at year’s end, regarding uniform management of consumer credit information among other things. It also adds strong identity theft protections and aims to help victims regain their financial identities faster. The administration has been a big supporter of tough identity theft provisions and complimented Congress on “exceeding expectations.” “These practical steps will help consumers protect their credit and their good name,” President Bush said during the signing ceremony. “People work hard to build up good credit histories, and rely on their credit to move forward in life. Today, we’re helping to make our credit system fair, fair to all, and to better protect those – better protect people from those who would abuse it.” One important feature of the law is that it grants all consumers, upon request, the right to a free copy of their credit report each year. “The credit report is more than a record of past actions – it has great influence over a person’s financial future,” Bush said. “People should be able to check their credit report for accuracy, and to challenge any errors.” Additionally, the FACT Act helps prevent identity theft by requiring merchants to omit all but the last five digits of a credit card number on receipts. “Slips of paper that most people throw away should not hold the key to their savings and financial secrets,” he said.

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