The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released a policy statement outlining the responsibility of credit-reporting companies (CRA) and furnishers for credit reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many lenders are setting flexible payment agreements with consumers, and the CFPB’s statement encourages lenders to continue to report accurate information to credit bureaus about any and all voluntary payment relief.
“During this time of uncertainty, we are providing clarity to ensure the consumer reporting industry can continue to function,” said CFPB Director Kraninger. “Consumers rely on their credit report to purchase a new car, their new home, or to finance their college education. An effective consumer reporting system is critical in promoting fair and efficient access to credit in the consumer financial services market.”
The policy statement also provides some relief to furnishers and credit-reporting agencies by providing them timing flexibility when examining consumer disputes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) generally requires that CRAs investigate disputes within 30 days of receipt. In evaluating compliance with the FCRA as a result of the pandemic, the Bureau will consider a consumer reporting agency or furnisher’s individual circumstance and does not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against a credit-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.
Read the bureau’s policy statement here.