A new CFPB advisory opinion drills down on what consumer reporting agencies must do to address discrepancies in consumers’ credit reports, in order to protect consumers and remove obstacles to them getting credit. And while the Bureau gives specific examples of items requiring correction, the opinion emerges in the bigger context of a heightened interest in expanding the categories of businesses that could constitute a consumer credit company and clarifies the work required of such companies vis-à-vis other actors in the consumer credit ecosystem such as furnishers or users of consumer data reports.
On Oct. 20, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a substantial Advisory Opinion interpreting Section 607(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Section 607(b) is one of many technical provisions imposing specific compliance obligations on consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). The Advisory Opinion indicates that if a CRA or a company engaged in consumer reporting activities neglects to remove logical inconsistencies from consumers’ credit reports, such a company will be deemed to have violated the FCRA’s mandate to build and carry out “reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy” of information pertaining to consumers whose credit information or personal attributes are being reported.