Consumer Reporting Agencies

Consumer Reporting Agencies in the United States

Written Policies and Procedures Regarding the Accuracy and Integrity of Information Furnished to Consumer Reporting Agencies

There is an obligation of furnishers (12 C.F.R. § 1022.41(c)) under Regulation V to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of information relating to consumers that they furnish to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). This obligation, which has been required under Regulation V since July 2010 (See 74 FR 31484 (July 1, 2009), although promulgated in July 2009, the rule provided furnishers one year’s notice of this obligation before the rule became effective on July 1, 2010), applies to furnishing to all consumer reporting agencies, including furnishing to specialty consumer reporting agencies, such as the furnishing of deposit account information to consumer reporting agencies. Furnishers must have policies and procedures that meet this requirement with respect to all consumer reporting agencies to which they furnish.

The supervisory experience of the Bureau suggests that some financial institutions are
not compliant with their obligations under Regulation V with regard to furnishing to
specialty consumer reporting agencies. Furnishers’ establishment and implementation of reasonable policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of information are essential components of a fair and accurate credit reporting system. Such policies and
procedures protect against the furnishing of inaccurate information that could
potentially cause adverse consequences for consumers when included in a credit report,
such as being denied a loan at a more favorable interest rate or being unable to open a
transaction account.

While furnisher obligations under Regulation V are the focus of this bulletin, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recognizes that both furnishers and CRAs have independent obligations under the FCRA related to the accuracy of information and to the investigation of consumer disputes.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expects both furnishers and CRAs to comply with their respective duties. Furnishers must establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of information relating to consumers that they furnish to consumer reporting agencies. (15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(e); 12 C.F.R. § 1022.42(a))

These policies and procedures must be appropriate to the nature, size,
complexity, and scope of each furnisher’s activities (12 C.F.R. § 1022.42(a)). When creating these policies and procedures, furnishers must consider the factors listed in the “Interagency Guidelines Concerning the Accuracy and Integrity of Information Furnished to Consumer
Reporting Agencies” and incorporate those guidelines that are appropriate. (12 C.F.R. § 1022.42(b). The guidelines are codified in Appendix E to Regulation V, 12 C.F.R. Part 1022)

Additionally, each furnisher must periodically review and update its policies and
procedures to ensure their continued effectiveness (12 C.F.R. § 1022.42(c)). These policies and procedures must encompass the institution’s furnishing to all types of consumer reporting agencies. For example, if an institution furnishes both credit information to nationwide
consumer reporting agencies and deposit account information to nationwide specialty CRAs, that institution must consider the appropriate approach to each type of furnishing in its policies and procedures in order to comply with Regulation V. (See 12 C.F.R. Part 1022, Appendix E, § I(a))

The type, frequency, and nature of the information furnished to consumer reporting agencies can vary significantly. There also may be significant differences in the reporting formats and codes used to furnish to these agencies. An institution’s obligation to have “reasonable written policies and procedures” applies to all types of information relating to consumers furnished to each of the CRAs to which it furnishes.

If the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau determines that a furnisher has engaged in any acts or practices that violate Regulation V or other federal consumer financial laws and
regulations, it will take appropriate supervisory and enforcement actions to address
violations and seek all appropriate remedial measures, including redress to consumers.

Consumer Reporting Agencies: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Consumer Reporting Agencies. This part provides references, in relation to Consumer Reporting Agencies, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Consumer Reporting Agencies by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Consumer Reporting Agencies and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Consumer Reporting Agencies or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Consumer Reporting Agencies and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Consumer Reporting Agencies. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Consumer Reporting Agencies should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Consumer Reporting Agencies when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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