Court partially vacates NJ law requiring multilingual credit-file disclosures

In 2019, New Jersey amended its state fair credit reporting act to require national credit reporting agencies to provide, upon request, credit file disclosures to New Jersey consumers in certain languages other than English. An industry association sued, alleging the statute was preempted by the federal fair credit reporting act, and violated the First Amendment.

Yesterday, a federal district court ruled on cross-motions for summary judgment. It rejected the plaintiff’s express, field, and conflict preemption arguments. It found, though, that requiring translation into at least ten foreign languages other than Spanish violated the First Amendment, under the Zauderer commercial speech standard.  The court thus vacated the severed and vacated the law to the extent it applied to languages other than English and Spanish.

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