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Limiting what your account holders can tell others

Before you throw away all those inserts that came with your last bank statement, inspect them a little more carefully. You may be tossing out your chance for privacy.

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Everyone in America who has an account with a bank, credit union, savings and loan or a mortgage company can expect to get a fistful of privacy notices once a year. Created by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999, these documents are designed to help you limit the amount of your personal information those companies can share or sell.

The rules aren't limited to financial institutions. Any business that has your personal and credit information in their files, from insurance companies to department stores to gasoline credit card issuers, are required to let you know annually how they safeguard what they know about you.

If you've already tossed out a privacy notice (or two or three or ), don't worry. You can still get off the mail marketing treadmill. Use the form letter below and send it to each financial institution (or any creditor) with which do business and tell them you want your privacy rights enforced. And be on the look out for the your next chance to "opt-out."

Personalize the letter by entering your specifics in the areas in red. You can print out this Web page and make your changes by hand or copy the body of the letter and paste it into a document where you can make your changes on your PC


Company Name
City, State, ZIP Code

Re: Privacy notice request

Dear Sir or Madam:

This letter is written in accordance with the Financial Services Modernization Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act to "opt out" of the sharing of any of my personal information in your files.

List the name on each account held with that creditor. For example, if you have a checking account, savings account and a mortgage with one bank, list each account number and your name as shown on the accounts.

Please do not disclose personally identifiable information to third-party companies or individuals that are not affiliated with name of bank, financial institution or other account holder.

I also ask that you do not disclose my creditworthiness to any affiliate.

Furthermore, I ask that my transaction and experience information remain confidential. Please do not send it to any company with which you are affiliated.

Thank you for respecting my privacy and honoring the choices I have made in regard to my financial information. I also would appreciate it if you would please send me written confirmation that you have honored my privacy request.

Your Signature
Your Full Name
Your Address
City, State and ZIP Code


-- Posted: Oct. 23, 2003




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