CFPB Policy Statement Addresses Reporting of Consumer Credit Data During Pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued a policy statement regarding financial institutions’ reporting obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act during the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act—the coronavirus relief law signed by President Trump last week—amended the FCRA to provide that credit furnishers that agree to defer payments, forbear on any delinquent credit or account or provide any other relief to consumers during the national emergency must report that account as current to consumer reporting agencies.

In the policy statement, the CFPB said it “expects furnishers to comply with the CARES Act and will work with furnishers as needed to help them do so.” As noted in previous guidance, the CFPB urged institutions to work constructively with borrowers facing financial hardship, and said that 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.”

The Bureau also reminded furnishers and consumer reporting agencies that they may take advantage of statutory and regulatory provisions that eliminate the obligation to investigate disputes submitted by credit repair organizations and disputes they reasonably determine to be frivolous or irrelevant.