CFPB Rescinds Policy Statement on FCRA and Regulation V in Light of CARES Act

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On March 31, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – which empowers consumers to take more control over their economic lives – announced it was rescinding seven policy statements issued in 2020 including a “Rescission of Statement of Policy on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act” that provided flexibilities under the FCRA.

On April 1, 2020, the CFPB issued a “Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act” regarding the CFPB’s exercise of its supervisory and enforcement discretion in enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V to highlight responsibilities of data furnishers under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The rescission of the 2020 Statement leaves intact the section on “Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID-19” which articulates the CFPB’s support for furnishers’ voluntary efforts to provide payment relief and that the CFPB does not intend to cite in examinations or take enforcement actions against those who furnish information to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that accurately reflect payment relief measures employed.

The rescinded policy statements issued in March 2020 through June 2020 temporarily provided financial institutions with flexibilities regarding regulatory filings or compliance with consumer financial laws and regulations. The rescissions reflect the CFPB’s commitment to consumer protection, and that financial institutions have had a year to adapt operations to difficulties posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Effective April 1, 2021, the seven rescissions by the CFPB provide guidance to financial institutions and provide notice that it intends to exercise the full scope of the supervisory and enforcement authority provided under the Dodd-Frank Act. The CFPB is also rescinding its 2018 bulletin on supervisory communications and replacing it with a revised bulletin describing its use of matters requiring attention (MRAs) to convey supervisory expectations.

“We are now over a year into the disruptive and deadly COVID-19 crisis,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio stated in an article in the CFPB Newsroom. “Providing regulatory flexibility to companies should not come at the expense of consumers. Because many financial institutions have developed more robust remote capabilities and demonstrated improved operations, it is no longer prudent to maintain these flexibilities.”

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of April 7, 2021, there are approximately 132 million global COVID-19 cases and 2.8 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 30 million COVID-19 cases and 556,000 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.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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