On October 17, the Consumer Data Industry Association filed a lawsuit in the District of New Jersey seeking to block a New Jersey state law requiring credit reports to be made available in eleven foreign languages, if requested by the consumer. Specifically, the Association argues that the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act preempts the law and that the law violates the First Amendment by “compelling speech” in languages other than English. 

The law only applies to national credit reporting agencies (the “Bureaus”). The law directs the Bureaus to make credit reports available “upon the consumer’s request in Spanish or any other language that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs determines is the first language of a significant number of consumers in the State.” As nearly a third of New Jersians speak a language other than English at home, the law states that it attempts to ensure consumers can assess the accuracy of their credit reports. 

Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor and report on any developments in this litigation.