What if I get a preliminary OFAC alert with someone on the SDN list?

Most OFAC-checking services will inform you if there is a preliminary match against someone listed on the SDN List. If you get a preliminary match, you must take steps to determine whether the alert is genuine or a "false positive." OFAC recommends the following steps to take:

  • Make sure the "alert" is against the SDN List and not against another list maintained by OFAC such as the World Bank Debarred Parties or Blocked Officials File
  • If you determine the alert to be against the SDN List, you must evaluate the quality of the alert. Compare the name of the customer with the name on the SDN List. Is the name on the SDN List a company or a vessel? Is the name on the list a male's name where your applicant is a female? If yes to any discrepancy, you do not have a valid match.
  • How much of the SDN List's name is matching against the name of your customer? Get the customer's middle name, any surname or generational designation (Sr., Jr., III, etc.).
  • Check the SDN List entry for the type of information listed. Frequently, the SDN List will contain passport numbers, Social Security or Tax ID numbers, nationality, place of birth, date of birth, cell phone number, and other information. Get similar information from your customer to evaluate the legitimacy of the match.
  • If there are a number of similarities or an exact match, call the OFAC hotline at 1-800-540-6322 and explain your knowledge or belief. Leave an urgent message if you get a voice mail response. Be sure to leave a return phone number and email address.

What is OFAC?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control "OFAC" of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. OFAC maintains a list of names and aliases of individuals, organizations and companies that the U.S. government has classified as potentially dangerous and a potential threat to national security.

Financial institutions, securities firms and insurance companies are required by law to block or freeze property, payment of any funds transfers and transactions with anyone on this list. Failure to comply with OFAC regulations may result in strict penalties.

For more information on U.S. government's requirement, compliance, effective date and guidelines, please click here

CBC provides a service that matches names on credit reports against the OFAC list.
Although the OFAC list is publicly available, it is very difficult and labor intensive to manually search against these long lists. CBC uses the credit request input information (name, address, etc.) to search against the OFAC list.

What do I do if I get an "alert" message on an applicant?
If you have checked a name manually or by using software and find a match, you should do a little more research. Is it an exact name match, or very close? Is your customer located in the same general area as the SDN? If not, it may be a "false positive." If there are many similarities, contact OFAC's "hotline" at 1-800-540-6322

How often is the OFAC database updated?

It varies, but generally the OFAC database is updated approximately every 10-14 days by the FTC.

Free OFAC Name Search Terms and Conditions error. What is wrong?

If you receive an error when trying to access the OFAC database from our website it is most likely a bookmark issue. Try accessing the page from the CBC website, navigate to the Free OFAC Name Search page, and create a new bookmark.

What is the Military Lending Act (MLA)?

On October 3, 2016, new Military Lending Act (MLA) protections went into effect. The updates to the MLA included a wide range of credit products that were not previously covered under the Act, providing new protections to active-duty personnel and their spouse and dependents. These protections include:

  • Limiting APR to 36 percent
  • Military-specific disclosures
  • A prohibition against required arbitration for disputes

Generally, the financing of vehicles was previously considered exempt from the MLA requirement. However, on December 14 2017, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued an amended interpretive rule that states:

A credit transaction that finances the purchase of a motor vehicle (and is secured by that vehicle), and also finances optional leather seats within that vehicle and an extended warranty for service of that vehicle is eligible for the [exemption]. (Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 239, page 58740, December 14, 2017.)

That was the good news. The bad (and shocking) news was what followed:

A credit transaction that includes financing for Guaranteed Auto Protection insurance or a credit insurance premium would not qualify for the [exemption]. (Federal Register, Vol. 82, No. 239, page 58740, December 14, 2017; emphasis added.)

CBC recommends all customers seek proper guidance and advice from your legal counsel and/or regulatory compliance advisor. If you determine that your business is not exempt from the MLA requirement, it is essential that you verify active-duty military status based on the information provided by the DoD on every loan application you process. Performing this one vital step will allow you to satisfy the safe harbor provision of the MLA.

CBC offers real-time verification of active-duty military status directly from the DoD, available as an add-on to every credit report inquiry request. You will receive a "MLA COVERED BORROWER" or "NON-MLA COVERED BORROWER" response based on information from the DoD, so you can maintain MLA compliance and meet the safe harbor provision.

What are the consequences of violating the MLA Rules?
Knowingly violating the MLA or its implementing regulation is a misdemeanor under the criminal code of the United States. Penalties include a fine and imprisonment of not more than one year. Also, a person who violates the MLA and its implementing regulation is civilly liable to a covered borrower for:

  • Any actual damages resulting from the violation, but not less than $500, for each violation;
  • Appropriate punitive damages;
  • Appropriate equitable or declaratory relief;
  • Costs of the action and reasonable attorney fees as determined by the court, where the covered borrower succeeds in the action; and
  • Any other relief provided by law.

Please contact Credit Bureau Connection @ 800-448-0183 to enable MLA on your credit reports.

When is the Red Flags Rule Effective Date?

The Red Flags Rule applies to all automotive dealers and actually became effective on January 1, 2008, with full compliance for all covered entities required by January 1, 2011. Previously, the Commission issued Enforcement Policies delaying the enforcement of the Rule as to entities under its jurisdiction. The Commission has continued to provide guidance through materials posted on the dedicated Red Flags Rule website here

Does the Risk-Based Pricing Rule apply to dealerships?

Yes, if your dealership pulls credit reports on consumers, then you must provide a notice to your consumers to satisfy the Risk-Based Pricing Rule requirements. CBC simplifies compliance of this rule by providing the solution option as recommended by NADA and NIADA.

CBC can generate a Credit Score Disclosure Exception Notice along with a consumer credit report, to be provided to your consumers. This makes compliance simple and easy.

Who do I send an Adverse Action letter to?

Anyone you cannot provide vehicle financing or a lease program or cannot come to agreeable terms presented by one or the other party.

How do I, as a consumer, dispute an error on my credit report?

The repositories can correct any inaccurate information that they may have in their permanent files. To dispute any inaccurate information with the repositories, you will need to contact them as follows:

P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75002
Attn: NCAC

Trans Union
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022-2000
Attn: Disputes

P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
Attn: Disputes

A credit report was obtained in error from our business and the consumer is requesting the inquiry be removed. What do I do?

The consumer must provide a written request to the dealer who pulled the report(s) in error. The dealer must then produce a letter of explanation to CBC on company letter head. CBC will then forward the request to the applicable bureau(s) for processing.

What is a FICO Score?

A credit score is a number that predicts for a lender how likely an individual is to repay a loan, or make credit payments on time. When a lender requests a credit report and score from a credit reporting agency, the score is calculated by a "scorecard" or scoring model - a mathematical equation that evaluates many types of information from your credit report at that agency. By comparing this information to the patterns in thousands of past credit reports, scoring identifies your level of credit risk.

This link will explain FICO Scores

Can we add or change the FICO score version on our credit reports?

Yes, please call 800-448-0183 or email us at billing@creditbureauconnection.com and request the additional or new FICO score(s). Most requests can be completed within 2 business days.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

The Federal Trade Commission "FTC" enforces credit laws that protect consumer's rights to obtain, use, and maintain credit. The Fair Credit Reporting Act "FCRA" was designed to help ensure credit reporting agencies "CRA" furnish correct and complete information to businesses to use when evaluating a consumer's application.

I suspect someone has stolen my Identity, what should I do?

If you suspect someone has used your name, Social Security Number or driver's license to obtain credit, contact each of the three credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your credit file:

  • Equifax (800) 685-1111
  • Experian (888) 397-3742; select the option for fraud assistance.
  • Trans Union (800) 680-7289; ask for FVAD

Then you may want to consider doing the following:

  • Report identity theft crimes to the local police or law enforcement agency in your area.
  • Report the possible theft to all credit card issuers.
  • If you have reason to believe that an identity thief has accessed your bank accounts, checking account or ATM card, close the accounts immediately.
  • Consider changing your driver's license number if you suspect someone has been using it to write bad checks.

My customer has a "FREEZE" on his/her credit report. What do I do?

CBC provides the ability to temporarily lift a security freeze from a consumer's credit file from the CBC dashboard or from the bureau websites.

To temporarily lift a security freeze within CBC's portal:
From the toolbar click "Tools." On the drop down menu you will find "Lift Security Freeze." Once clicked, you will select a bureau, enter a PIN and run credit.

Remember: A consumer who is unable to thaw their frozen credit file may be a "red flag" for identity theft.

To temporarily lift a security freeze from the credit reporting agencies (CRA's) navigate to:
Credit Freeze Information and Costs by State

Please contact Credit Bureau Connection @ 800-448-0183 with any questions.

Is the CBC help desk available after hours?

Yes, we have on-call support 24/7. Simple phone in, leave a detailed message, and we will return the call as soon as possible.

Do I need to notify CBC if our dealership has moved or changed ownership?

Yes, please contact CBC prior to the move or ownership change so we can update your information with the Credit Reporting Agencies. Please note, an ownership changes requires a new set of membership documents.

Can I change my billing address on my CBC account?

Yes, please contact CBC to update your billing address.

Is an on-site required for TransUnion and Experian if we already had an on-site for one or the other?

If you are a current CBC customer, adding TransUnion or Experian to existing TransUnion or Experian service you DO NOT need a separate onsite.

If I already have Experian or TransUnion service and I want to add Equifax, do I need a separate on-site inspection?

Yes, if you are adding Equifax service to either TransUnion or Experian service you will be required to have a separate on-site performed for Equifax.

I recently had an on-site inspection done by another credit provider. If I change to CBC will I be required to have a new on-site inspection?

Yes, a new on-site is required for all new Equifax service and for all non-franchise dealers requesting new Experian and/or TransUnion service through a new provider.

Can I use CBC credit report subscriber codes on DealerTrack or RouteOne?

Yes, contact CBC and we will provide you the proper form to place codes on the DealerTrack and/or RouteOne platforms.

If I manage my credit applications on DealerTrack or RouteOne do I have to use their compliance?

No, you can still utilize all the benefits of the CBC "All Inclusive" compliance suite as long as the credit report is pulled through CBC.

If I am already running one bureau can I sign up with another one?

Yes, please contact CBC and we will help you with the process of setting up a 2nd or 3rd bureau.

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