Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act
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On April 1, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a policy statement regarding the consumer reporting requirements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Among other things, the CARES Act amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to generally require furnishers to report certain credit obligations where consumers are making payments under an accommodation. If a furnisher makes an accommodation with respect to one or more payments on a credit obligation of a consumer, and the consumer makes the appropriate payment under the accommodation, the furnisher must:
- Report the credit obligation as current, if the account was current prior to the accommodation; or
- If the account was delinquent prior to the accommodation, maintain the existing delinquency status while the accommodation is in effect. If the consumer brings the account current during the accommodation period, the furnisher must report the account as current.
- If the consumer obligation is a student loan for which payments are suspended under Section 3513 of the CARES Act, furnishers must report any payment that has been suspended as if the regularly scheduled payment was made by the borrower.
The CFPB reiterates its prior encouragement of financial institutions to work constructively with borrowers and other customers affected by COVID-19. In addition, the CFPB encourages furnishers to continue furnishing information to consumer reporting agencies despite the current crisis. The CFPB states it does not intend to cite in examinations or take enforcement actions against those who furnish information to consumer reporting agencies that accurately reflects the payment relief measures they are employing.
In addition, in evaluating a furnisher’s compliance with FCRA during the pandemic, including compliance with requirements to investigate disputes in a timely fashion, the CFPB will consider the furnisher’s individual circumstances as a result of the pandemic, including disruptions in access to necessary information, reductions in staff, difficulty receiving disputes. The CFPB does not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against a consumer reporting agency or furnisher making good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as possible, even if dispute investigations take longer than the statutory timeframe.