FTC reports on FCRA education and enforcement
On May 5, the FTC released a report updating Congress on the agency’s FCRA education and enforcement efforts. The report, titled “Efforts to Promote Consumer Report Accuracy and Disputes,” was requested by Congress as part of the 2020 spending bill that funds the FTC. The report details the agency’s efforts to inform consumers and businesses regarding their rights and obligations under the FCRA, including educating consumers on disputing errors and identity theft. For businesses, the report discusses the guidance provided by the FTC for furnishers and users, including the 2016 publication Consumer Reports: What Information Furnishers Need to Know. The report notes that over the last decade. the FTC has brought over 30 enforcement actions under the FCRA against consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), users of consumer reports, and furnishers of information to CRAs. The FTC notes that once supervisory authority over the nationwide CRAs was transferred to the CFPB in 2011, the FTC has focused its FCRA enforcement on other entities in the credit reporting area, noting that 14 of its FCRA cases involved allegations related to handling consumer disputes of inaccurate information or procedures for ensuring the accuracy of information furnished in reports. A complete list of the 14 cases can be found in the report’s Appendix B. The FTC states that it will continue to look for education and enforcement opportunities, citing a joint workshop with the CFPB held last December, which discussed current trends in consumer reporting accuracy and sought public comments to assist the agency in targeting its efforts in the future.