Check FCRA Compliance Off Your List

May 11, 2020 by Laura Burrows

When running a credit report on a new applicant, you must ensure Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance before accessing, using and sharing the collected data. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has impacted credit reporting under the FCRA, as has new guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Recent updates include:

  • The CARES Act amended the FCRA to require furnishers who agree to an “accommodation,”1 to report the account as current, although it is permitted to continue to report the account as delinquent if the account was delinquent before the accommodation was made.
  • Although not legally obligated, data furnishers should continue furnishing information to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) during the COVID-19 crisis, and make sure that information reported is complete and accurate.

Below is a brief FCRA-related compliance overview2 covering various FCRA requirements3 when requesting and using consumer credit reports for an extension of credit permissible purpose. For more information regarding your responsibilities under the FCRA as a user of consumer reports, please consult your Legal Counsel and the Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under the FCRA handbook located on our website.

Before obtaining a consumer report you have…

 Reviewed your federal and state regulations and laws related to consumer reports, scores, decisions, etc.
 Made sure you have a valid permissible purpose for pulling the consumer report.
 Certified compliance to the CRA from which you are getting the consumer report. You have certified that you complied with all the federal and state requirements.

After you take an adverse action based on a consumer report you…

Provide the consumer with an oral, written or electronic notice of the adverse action.
Provide written or electronic disclosure of the numerical credit score used to take the adverse action, or when providing a “risk-based pricing” notice.
Provide the consumer with an oral, written or electronic notice, which includes the below information:

 Name, address and telephone number of CRA that supplied the report, if nationwide. A statement that the CRA did not make the adverse decision and therefore can’t explain why the decision was made.
 Notice of the consumer’s right to a free copy of their report from the CRA, if requested within 60 days.
 Notice of the consumer’s right to dispute with the CRA the accuracy or completeness of any information in a consumer report provided by the CRA.
Provide the consumer with a “risk-based pricing” notice if credit was granted but on less favorable terms based on information in their consumer report.

We understand how challenging it is to understand and meet all your obligations as a data furnisher – we’re here to make it a little easier. Click below to speak with a representative and gain more insight on how the CARES Act impacts FCRA reporting.

Download overview Speak with a representative

1An “accommodation” is defined as “an agreement to defer one or more payments, make a partial payment, forbear any delinquent amounts, modify a loan or contract, or any other assistance or relief” granted to a consumer affected by COVID-19 during the covered period.

2This FCRA overview is not legal guidance and does not enumerate all your requirements under the FCRA as a user of consumer reports. Additionally, this FCRA Overview is not intended to provide legal advice or counsel you regarding your obligations under the FCRA or any other federal or state law or regulation. Should you have any questions about your institution’s specific obligations under the FCRA or any other federal or state law or regulation, you should consult with your Legal Counsel.

3This FCRA overview is intended to be used solely by financial service providers when extending credit to consumers and does not include all FCRA regulatory obligations.

You are responsible for regulatory compliance when requesting and using consumer reports, which includes adhering to all applicable federal and state statutes and regulations and ensuring that you have the correct policies and procedures in place.

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