MRAA informs members on new ID theft rules

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The Marine Retailers Association of America is alerting its members that the  Bush Administration has finalized new rules creating the Identity Theft Prevention Program, which establishes policies to identify and respond to "red flags" that could signal identity theft.

The program is a result of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. Implementation of the new rule, which was set to go into effect Nov. 1, has been extended to May 1, 2009. It applies to small businesses, such as boat dealers who extend credit to customers.

Dealers must implement appropriate procedures to detect problems, and will have to report any address discrepancy to a consumer reporting agency. Financial institutions are responsible for developing and implementing an appropriate program.

Examiners can schedule visits to boat dealerships and levy fines or sanctions if the dealers have failed to implement a program; but if the dealership has demonstrated a good-faith effort to complete a program, leniency may be given.

MRAA believes most banking organizations have developed appropriate forms and recommends dealers contact their banks.

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