House Subcommittee Investigating Credit Companies on Credit Report Errors During Pandemic

Jun 6, 2022Federal Regulation, News

Democratic members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis recently informed Equifax, Inc., Experian PLC, and TransUnion that they would be probing the companies’ handling of consumer complaints about errors on their credit reports during the pandemic.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the letters, signed by subcommittee chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.), alleged that “payment-deferment programs and an increase in identity theft during the pandemic created new ways for errors to get added onto credit reports.” They asked the companies to furnish documents with information about their handling of the complaints and their responses. 

This probe is in addition to another probe by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into how the three credit reporting companies handle consumer disputes.

“The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis is committed to examining the economic impact of the pandemic on individuals, communities, and small businesses,” said Clyburn. “Recent reports indicate that this impact included a significant decrease in [Nationwide Consumer Reporting Agencies’] responsiveness to consumer complaints and disputes regarding errors in consumer credit reports.”

“The Select Subcommittee seeks documents and information to investigate these reports and gain insight to help ensure that consumers are protected as our nation continues to recover from the crisis,” Clyburn continued. 

Credit reporting companies are “committed to helping consumers resolve discrepancies on their credit reports,” said a spokesman for the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group representing credit-reporting firms, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We are working diligently across the financial ecosystem to make sure data on consumer credit reports is accurate and comprehensive.”

The Journal also reports that industry representatives allege that lenders providing incorrect information are to blame for the errors. Furthermore, many of the complaints are related to consumers looking to remove accurate information—like missed payments—that negatively impacts their credit scores.

Between January 2020 and September 2021, consumers submitted more than 700,000 complaints to the CFPB, comprising more than half of all complaints the agency received in that time period.

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