For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000
Technical Corrections Package will help Consumers Receive the Protection They Deserve
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2008—The International Franchise Association (IFA) applauded the House passage of HR 4008, introduced by Rep. Timothy Mahoney, (D-FL). The House unanimously passed the Credit and Debit Clarification Act 407-0, and IFA urges the Senate to immediately vote on the bill to provide franchised business owners expedited relief from the threat of abusive lawsuits.
HR 4008 makes a technical correction to the definition of “willful noncompliance” in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), which requires retail businesses to truncate credit card numbers on consumer receipts to help prevent credit card fraud. The Act also requires that the expiration date be redacted. However, the original language of the bill and public statements from the Administration indicated that retailers could either truncate the card number OR eliminate the expiration date, leading many retailers to comply with one only requirement. This has resulted in hundreds of unnecessary lawsuits alleging that the failure to remove the expiration date was a willful violation of FACTA.
“Franchised business owners take their obligations to protect the identities and account information of its customers very seriously, and they have invested significant resources to safeguard consumer information and comply with the law,” said IFA Vice President of Government Affairs David French. “Any allegation that these business owners were willfully violating the law is unfounded.”
French said that HR 4008 is a reasonable solution to curb abusive lawsuits while maintaining consumers’ right to litigate when actually harmed.
“We applaud Rep. Mahoney (D-FL) for championing this important legislation through the House,” French said. “With quick passages by the Senate, Congress can provide franchised business owners relief during uncertain economic times and consumers with real protection of their financial information.”
For more information about FACTA and HR 4008, the Credit and Debit Receipt Clarification Act, visit www.franchise.org.
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About The International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at www.franchise.org.