Federal Regulatory Update

Federal Regulatory Update

On September 4, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “Bureau”) issued Bulletin 2013-09 addressing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”)’s requirement to investigate disputes and review “all relevant” information provided by consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) about the dispute.

 

 

The FCRA generally requires a CRA to notify a furnisher of information (“lender”) when a consumer disputes the accuracy or completeness of an item of information provided by the lender to the CRA.  The CRA must also promptly provide the lender all relevant information regarding the dispute that the CRA timely received from the consumer.  The lender must conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information, review all relevant information provided by the CRA, and respond appropriately based on the result of the investigation.

 

 

The Bureau expects:

·        CRAs and lenders to comply fully with the FCRA requirements above to promote the accuracy and completeness of information in the consumer reporting system. 

·        Lenders to have reasonable systems and technology in place to receive and process notices of disputes and information regarding disputes, including relevant documentation, forwarded to them by CRAs;  and

·        Every lender to review and consider all relevant information relating to the dispute, including documents that the CRA includes with the notice of dispute or transmits during the investigation, and the lender’s own information with respect to the dispute.

 

The Bureau will continue to evaluate compliance with the requirement to review all relevant information by lenders subject to its supervisory and enforcement authorities.  With respect to disputes received by lenders from CRAs, the Bureau expects each lender to comply with the FCRA by:

  • Maintaining a system reasonably capable of receiving from CRAs information regarding disputes, including supporting documentation;
  • Conducting an investigation of the disputed information including reviewing:
    • All relevant information forwarded by the CRA; and
    • The lender’s own information with respect to the dispute;
  • Reporting the results of the investigation to the CRA that sent the dispute;
  • Providing corrected information to every nationwide CRA that received the information if the information is inaccurate or incomplete; and
  • Modifying or deleting the disputed information, or permanently blocking the reporting of the information if the information is incomplete or inaccurate, or cannot be verified.

 

Any lender not currently maintaining a process that meets these requirements should take immediate steps to comply with the requirements of the law.

 

 

The Bureau is monitoring complaints received from consumers and will prioritize examinations and other actions on the basis of risks posed to consumers.  If the Bureau determines that a lender has engaged in any acts or practices that violate the FCRA or other federal consumer financial laws and regulations, it will take appropriate supervisory and enforcement actions to address violations and seek all appropriate corrective measures, possibly including remediation of harm to consumers.  The Bureau will continue to review lender compliance with these requirements during examinations and investigations.