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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB Releases Supervisory Highlights Focused on Credit Reporting

Consumer Finance Consumer Complaints CFPB Consumer Reporting

Consumer Finance

On March 2, the CFPB released its Supervisory Highlights for winter 2017 that outlines supervisory and oversight actions the Bureau has taken to address issues in the credit reporting market. According to the CFPB’s February Monthly Complaint Report, the Bureau has handled approximately 185,700 credit reporting complaints since the Bureau’s inception. Examples of these complaints include that no action happens when consumers dispute items on their reports, that paid debts often show up as “unpaid,” and that consumers’ files are not updated to reflect changes or deletions which negatively affect their credit scores.

The new Supervisory Highlights outlines the actions the Bureau has taken to address concerns, including the following:

  • Fixing data accuracy at consumer reporting companies, including instituting quality control programs and tests to identify mix-ups as well as improving corrective actions and preventative measures.
  • Directing consumer reporting companies to improve dispute investigation systems.
  • Directing furnishers supplying data to consumer reporting companies to ensure the integrity of the information, an effort that “includes better investigations and handling of disputes, notifying consumers of results, and taking corrective action when inaccurate information has been supplied.”

As further explained, the CFPB uses the same supervision approach for credit reporting activities that it uses for other activities of supervised entities, which “includes a review of compliance systems and procedures, on-site examinations, discussions with relevant personnel, and requirements to produce relevant reports . . . [and, if violations are discovered], enforcement actions.” In addition, on the same day, the Bureau posted to its blog a guide to help consumers learn ways to monitor their credit history, including a list of several companies that claim to offer existing customers free access to credit scores.

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