ABA weighs in on CFPB’s human trafficking, credit reporting proposal

ABA today wrote to the CFPB in response to a recent proposal to implement a section of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which made changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibiting consumer reporting agencies from furnishing a consumer report containing any adverse item of information concerning a consumer that resulted from a severe form of trafficking in persons or sex trafficking. if the consumer has provided trafficking documentation to the CRA. Among other things, the CFPB is seeking comment on who may make a “determination” that the information in question resulted from a severe form of trafficking in person or sex trafficking and the type of documentation required.

In the letter, ABA emphasized the industry’s efforts to expose and combat human trafficking and supported the concept of blocking information in consumer reports that results from human trafficking, and provided examples of how banks help detect and prevent human trafficking activity. While ABA and supported the concept of blocking information in consumer reports that result from human trafficking, however, the association cautioned that the bureau “should not ignore the potential for abuse by people who are not trafficking victims and the resulting degradation and unreliability of consumer reports if the regulation is not implemented appropriately.”

To ensure that such abuse does not occur, ABA urged the CFPB to follow the language and spirit of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and require that a governmental agency or court make a determination that the person is a victim of human trafficking. ABA also called on the bureau to “use its platform to advocate for creation of a compassionate, manageable and reliable means of providing the documentation of a determination required under the statute.”

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