CFPB to Offer Flexibility for Creditors Working to Resolve Billing Errors During Pandemic

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today said it would provide flexibility for creditors to resolve billing errors during the coronavirus pandemic. With many merchants forced to close due to local stay-at-home orders, the bureau acknowledged that these businesses may not be able to respond immediately to creditor inquiries to resolve billing disputes.

Accordingly, the CFPB said that when evaluating creditors’ compliance with the billing error resolution timeframes established by Regulation Z, it would “consider the creditor’s circumstances and does not intend to cite a violation in an examination or bring an enforcement action against a creditor that takes longer than required by the regulation to resolve a billing error notice.” CFPB added that creditors must make “good faith efforts to obtain the necessary information and make a determination as quickly as possible, and complies with all other requirements pending resolution of the error.”

The CFPB also encouraged creditors to continue to provide relief to consumers who may be facing financial hardships because of the pandemic, including fee waivers, repayment forbearance or payment deferrals. The bureau issued two FAQ documents reminding financial institutions and card issuers of various account terms that may be changed without providing advance notice and outlining existing regulatory flexibilities for open-end credit that institutions may find useful when serving customers.