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If you want to open a consumer checking or savings account at a bank, credit union or other financial institution, the institution will usually review your consumer report obtained from a third-party vendor. These reports include information from other financial institutions regarding your deposit account activities, including the reasons your prior accounts were closed, your overdraft check history and information regarding fraudulent activities impacting your accounts, such as identity theft. An institution will then evaluate the positive and negative information in this report to determine whether to open the account and/or the type of account available to you. There are a number of companies that collect this information and provide this service to financial institutions, such as ChexSystems Inc. and Early Warning Services, LLC. These vendors are considered specialty consumer reporting agencies, are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and have been providing these account screening services to financial institutions for years.

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