The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) spotlighted its credit reporting complaints in a recent report submitted in February 2017. The bureau also submitted a special advisory report detailing ongoing problems in the credit-reporting industry.
According to these reports, 76% of credit-reporting complaints received by the CFPB concern the accuracy of information in consumers’ credit reports. Regarding Nevada consumers, the report highlighted over 13,000 separate complaints, many of which concerned consumers residing here in Las Vegas and Henderson.
Regarding furnishers of information (e.g. banks, credit card companies, etc.), the bureau stresses the importance of policies and procedures for proper recordkeeping to avoid credit reporting mistakes. The CFPB recommends that furnishers update their employee training and institute oversight and compliance procedures to prevent these issues in the future.
Regarding credit bureaus, the reports make clear that they must vet information coming from the furnishers to ensure accuracy. The CFPB expects that the bureaus will adhere to the 30-day timeline for resolving consumer disputes outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and provide notices describing the outcome of each investigation.
On June 19, a California jury awarded consumers $60 million after finding that Trans Union violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is the largest jury award for FCRA violations to date. The jury found that Trans Union failed to correct “mixed files,” which occur where credit bureaus report information on the wrong consumer’s profile.
In this case, Trans Union reported on multiple consumer’s profiles that they were subject to an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alert when the consumers were not subject to this alert. An OFAC alert includes persons who are subject to sanctions, such as terrorists and narcotic traffickers. The jury also found that Trans Union failed to provide the consumers with an opportunity to review and dispute the credit information.
This case highlights the continued problems associated with inaccuracies reporting on consumer’s credit profiles. To prevent these credit issues, it is important to check your credit reports at least annually and give each report a thorough review. If you find inaccurate or fraudulent information, you have the right to dispute the information with the credit bureaus, who have 30 days to investigate the matter and remove the incorrect credit reporting. If the bureaus fail to correct the inaccurate information, you have the right to a free lawyer, removal of the information, and an award of statutory and actual damages.