Credit reporting remains a priority for the CFPB

Oversight of credit reporting companies remains a priority for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Oversight of credit reporting companies remains a priority for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau recently released its findings on credit reporting complaints, showing that they made up 11 percent of all complaints it received between July 21, 2011 and Feb. 1, 2014.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray also sent a letter to major credit card companies, calling on them to provide credit scores to customers regularly and freely, either online or with a monthly statement, along with educational content.

Despite recent improvements in the credit reporting process, the bureau is “keenly aware that information about credit standing needs to be made more salient for consumers,” Cordray said in prepared remarks. The initiative would raise awareness of credit issues, increase personal financial responsibility and create more economically productive citizens, Cordray.

While acknowledging that companies are not legally required to provide this information, Cordray said the bureau would consider the move to be a “best practice” in the industry.

In its analysis of complaints on credit reporting, the CFPB found that the majority – 73 percent – dealt with inaccurate information appearing on a consumer’s credit report. Dissatisfaction with a company’s investigation of a dispute was the second largest source, accounting for 11 percent of complaints. A further 9 percent complained of difficulty in obtaining credit scores or reports.

Between Oct. 22, 2012 and Feb. 1, 2014, the CFPB handled roughly 31,000 complaints from consumers dealing with credit reporting.

The bureau also published a supervisory bulletin warning data furnishers not to avoid investigating consumer disputes. Neglecting to investigate disputes may result in systemic problems going undetected and incomplete resolution of the dispute, the CFPB said.

“With all of the examples I have discussed … we can see the prospect of significant improvements for consumers trying to navigate the complexities of the credit reporting market,” Cordray said. “We will continue to use our supervisory authority to require responsible behavior in the credit reporting market, and we will also use our enforcement authority where appropriate.”

Fredrikson & Byron Law