Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – the agency enforcing federal consumer financial law – has announced that the CFPB will host a public workshop with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to discuss issues affecting the accuracy of credit reports and background checks on December 10, 2019.
In 2012, the FTC – which protects consumers and promotes competition – released a study on accuracy in credit reporting while the CFPB began conducting supervisory reviews over credit reporting agencies (CRAs) as well as providers of products or services that furnish information about consumers to CRAs.
In 2015, following state investigations regarding various credit reporting issues, the nationwide CRAs agreed to a multi-state settlement of $6 million that required stricter standards for matching records, removal of certain public record information, and restrictions on medical debt reporting.
The workshop will bring industry representatives, consumer advocates, and regulators together for a public discussion on issues impacting the accuracy of consumer reports. The CFPB and FTC invite comments recommending subjects or specific information on these potential topics for discussion:
- What are the lessons from the CFPB’s supervisory reviews of CRAs and furnishers on accuracy and dispute obligations?
- What are the lessons from CFPB and FTC enforcement cases on furnisher and CRA accuracy obligations?
- How do background screening CRAs address accuracy in light of the limited personal identifying information included in public records?
- What opportunities or challenges does inclusion of non-traditional data in credit reports, credit scoring models, or background screening reports present for accuracy?
- Can new technologies and data management practices be used to improve accuracy?
Comments may be submitted until January 10, 2020, electronically or by writing “Accuracy in Consumer Reporting Workshop” on an envelope and mailing the comment to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610, Washington, D.C., 20024.
Requests to participate as presenters or panelists can be emailed to AccuracyWorkshop@ftc.gov. Proposed panelists or commenters affiliated with entities providing funding for research, analysis, or commentary on relevant topics, should identify such funding and its source in their requests.
The CFPB and FTC enforce the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that governs background checks in the United States. In 2018, the CFPB updated two disclosures required by the FCRA to reflect changes made when Congress passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.
The Act mandates that CRAs provide consumers with a notice of their right to obtain a “security freeze” on their credit report when the FCRA requires that they receive either a Summary of Consumer Rights Under the FCRA or a Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights.
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – complies with regulations from the CFPB and the FTC. In January of 2013, the CFPB took over the administration of notices required by the FCRA from the FTC. To learn more about ESR, visit https://www.esrcheck.com/.
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