CFPB Releases Special Edition of Supervisory Highlights on Consumer Reporting

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

In December 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – which helps businesses comply with Federal consumer financial law – released its Second Special Edition of Supervisory Highlights on Consumer Reporting that examined the areas of consumer reporting and furnishing of information to “consumer reporting companies (CRCs)” pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V.

In March 2017, the CFPB published its First Special Edition of Supervisory Highlights on Consumer Reporting issues that examined CRCs, a term that means the same as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) as defined under section 1681a(f) of the FCRA. These CRCs include the largest consumer reporting companies, consumer report resellers, and specialty consumer reporting companies.

The CFPB’s supervisory reviews of CRCs have evaluated compliance with FCRA provisions regarding procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of information and provisions regarding permissible purpose, restriction of information resulting from identity theft, and dispute investigation obligations. Examiners identified violations and weaknesses in procedures associated with these FCRA provisions.

As a result of reviews, CRCs have improved procedures regarding the accuracy of information contained in consumer reports, ensuring consumer reports are not furnished to users lacking a permissible purpose, blocking information resulting from an alleged identity theft, and investigating and responding to disputes from consumers regarding the accuracy or completeness of information in consumer files.

The CFPB will continue to publish Supervisory Highlights to aid CFPB-supervised entities in their efforts to comply with Federal consumer financial law such as the FCRA and Regulation V. This information is shared to communicate the CFPB’s supervisory expectations to CRCs and furnishers that those institutions comply with the applicable provisions of the FCRA and Regulation V.

The CFPB’s work in the consumer reporting market is ongoing and is a high priority. CFPB examiners have identified violations and compliance management system (CMS) weaknesses regarding critical FCRA and Regulation V protections, and also observed significant improvements in these areas. The CFPB will continue to conduct reviews of CRCs within their supervisory jurisdiction.

The CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a free public workshop on Accuracy in Consumer Reporting in December of 2019 that examined issues affecting the accuracy of traditional credit reports as well as background screening reports. A video recording of the workshop is available at https://ftc-workshop-accuracy-consumer-reporting.videoshowcase.net/.

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