CFPB Exploring New Rules for Credit Reporting Companies
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released an annual report on deficiencies in how credit reporting companies respond to consumer complaints. The report includes considerations for how the top three credit reporting companies can improve compliance with consumer financial protection laws.
“This shifting landscape and alternatives point toward a world where consumers have more control over their data,” the CFPB said in the report. “Policymakers and market participants can shape the future of collecting, using and sharing consumers’ data in a manner that navigates successfully from surveillance to participation.”
The report analyzes how the credit reporting companies responded to roughly 488,000 complaints sent by the CFPB between October 2021 and September 2022. The CFPB recommended that the credit reporting companies consider consumer burden when implementing automated processes, especially when it relates to a legal right.
The Bureau also suggested that the companies recognize that technology is improving for consumers, and not to assume that similar-sounding complaints are always from third parties. Consumers often do not need to write complaints on their own with recent advancements in communications technology.
Alternatively, the CFPB identified areas where the companies improved. They changed how they responded to complaints by providing consumers with more tailored responses. In September 2022, the companies gave a tailored response to over half of complaints that were closed with an explanation or relief.
“Enabling increased consumer participation on the data side of consumer reporting has the potential to create a fairer market with added benefits for consumers, consumer-reporting companies and lenders,” said the CFPB.