Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On July 1, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – which empowers consumers to take more control over their economic lives – released “Enforcement Compliance Bulletin 2021-03: Consumer Reporting of Rental Information” to remind landlords and consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) of their critical obligations to accurately report rental and eviction information, according to a news release from the CFPB.
Inaccurate rental and eviction information on a tenant screening report or a credit report can unfairly block a family from safe and affordable housing. As the federal eviction moratorium and other COVID-19 pandemic rental protections come to an end, the CFPB wants to protect families from being denied housing on the basis of inaccurate information. The CFPB’s bulletin is part of its ongoing commitment to a fair and equitable recovery.
The CFPB intends to look at whether landlords, property management companies, and debt collectors are furnishing accurate information to CRAs and complying with dispute-handling obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The CFPB will check if furnishers report arrearages that include amounts already paid through a government grant or relief program and fees or penalties prohibited by CARES Act section 4024(b).
The CFPB will be looking at whether CRAs are including only accurate and complete rental and eviction information that belongs to a consumer who is the subject of a consumer report, including the disposition of the eviction, preventing the inclusion of multiple entries for the same eviction action, preventing the inclusion of eviction records that have been expunged or sealed, and investigating when consumers report inaccuracies.
In the event the CFPB identifies CRAs or furnishers not meeting their obligations under the FCRA, the CFPB will take appropriate action to address violations and seek all appropriate corrective measures, including remediation of harm to consumers. Consumers who encounter rental information errors or other errors on their consumer reports, or believe errors exist, have rights and recourse. The CFPB bulletin is available here.
“Errors in your tenant screening report shouldn’t hold you back from having a place to call home,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio stated in the news release. “Landlords and consumer reporting agencies have clear obligations under federal law, regarding the accuracy of information reported about tenants, and to conduct timely investigations when consumers dispute information. They need to get this right.”
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of July 8, 2021, there are approximately 185 million global COVID-19 cases and 4 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 33 million COVID-19 cases and 606,000 deaths, according to research from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The CFPB – which enforces the FCRA 15 U.S.C § 1681 that regulates background checks for employment purposes in the United States – is a U.S. government agency that empowers consumers to take more control over their economic lives and helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective and consistently enforcing those rules. To learn more about the CFPB, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider that was named the number one screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – offers comprehensive background screening services that empower our clients to make informed hiring decisions that fully comply with the FCRA and all applicable states and local laws. To learn more about background screening services from ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.
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