CFPB Critical of Deleting Tradelines

On May 2, 2022, the CFPB issued its Supervisory Highlights for spring 2022 (the “spring 2022 Report”), which highlights legal violations identified by the CFPB’s examinations between July 2021 and December 2021. The findings in the spring 2022 Report cover the areas of auto servicing, consumer reporting, credit card account management, debt collection, deposits, mortgage origination, prepaid accounts, remittances, and student loan servicing. The spring 2022 Report also summarizes recent developments in the CFPB’s supervision program and remedial actions.

Focusing strictly on the area of consumer reporting, the CFPB notes that examiners have found deficiencies in credit reporting companies’ compliance with FCRA dispute investigation requirements and furnisher compliance with FCRA and Regulation V accuracy and dispute investigation requirements. The CFPB notes that in several reviews of credit reporting companies (“CRCs”), examiners found that they failed to conduct reasonable investigations of disputes. Specifically, CRCs deleted thousands of disputed tradelines rather than resolving disputes consistent with the investigation conducted by the furnisher and failed to review and consider all relevant information submitted by the consumer in support of their disputes. In addition, examiners found that CRCs failed to timely notify furnishers after receipt of a dispute and to timely and accurately notify consumers of the results of a dispute reinvestigation.

The CFPB also discusses several deficiencies with regard to credit card furnishers, deposit furnishers, and auto furnishers. The CFPB advises that credit card furnishers erroneously applied Regulation V’s “frivolous” designation to indirect disputes when the FCRA does not allow furnishers to deem indirect disputes as “frivolous.” The CFPB further advises that credit card furnishers sent incorrect indirect dispute investigation results to CRCs. Moreover, the CFPB notes that credit card furnishers failed to communicate the results of its investigations in response letters to direct disputes and failed to send updating or correcting information to CRCs after making a determination that the reported information was incomplete or inaccurate.

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