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Criminal Resource Manual

447. Customer Consent and Authorization for Access to Financial Records—ATTACHMENT to Form DOJ-462


Washington, D.C. 20530


Federal law protects the privacy of your financial records. Before banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, credit card issuers or other financial institutions may give financial information about you to a Federal agency, certain procedures must be followed.

Consent to Financial Records

You may be asked to consent to make your financial records available to the Government. You may withhold your consent, and your consent is not required as a condition of doing business with any financial institution. If you give your consent, it can be revoked in writing at any time before your records are disclosed. Furthermore, any consent you give is effective for only three months, and your financial institution must keep a record of the instances in which it discloses your financial information.

Without Your Consent

Without your consent, a Federal agency that wants to see your financial records may do so ordinarily only by means of a lawful subpoena, summons, formal written request,or search warrant for that purpose.

Generally, the federal agency must give you advance notice of its request for your records explaining why the information is being sought and telling you how to object in court. The Federal agency must also send you copies of court documents to be prepared by you #1th instructions for filling them out. While these procedures will be kept as simple as possible, you may want to consult with an attorney before making a challenge to a Federal agency 5 request.


In some circumstances, a Federal agency may obtain financial information about you without advance notice or your consent. In most of these cases the Federal agency will be required to go to court to get permission to obtain your records without giving you notice beforehand. In these instances, the court will make the Government show that its investigation and request for your records are proper.

When the reason for the delay of notice no longer exists, you will usually be notified that your records were obtained.

Transfer of Information

Generally, a Federal agency which obtains your financial records is prohibited from transferring them to another Federal agency unless it certifies in writing that the transfer is proper and sends a notice to you that your records have been sent to another agency.


If a Federal agency or financial institution violates the Right To Financial Privacy Act, you may sue for damages or to seek compliance with the law. If you win, you may be repaid your attorney's fees and costs.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about your rights under this law, or about how to consent to release your financial records, please call the official whose name and telephone number appear below:






(Government Agency)



Sec. 1104(a) of the Right To Financial

FORM DOJ-462 Attachment

Privacy Act, 12 U.S.C. Sec. 3404(a)