After not getting the answer they were looking for from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a group of two dozen state attorneys general are now going directly to the three major credit bureaus and letting them know that those states “are committed to protecting consumers in our states and will continue to enforce all federal and state requirements during this crisis.”
The attorneys general from New York, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, sent the CEOs of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion a letter yesterday, asking them to essentially ignore guidance from the CFPB and to follow the provisions laid out for credit reporting in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. That guidance requires furnishers to report an obligation as current if the obligation was current prior to the grant of a CARES Act accommodation. The CFPB had previously provided guidance to furnishers that said they will not enforce that provision of the CARES Act and were giving furnishers more time to investigate disputes because so many employees are working remotely, which has caused disruption to the furnishers’ operations. That move led the AGs to write to the CFPB, asking it to reconsider its position.
The CFPB had announced that companies could take longer to complete their investigations if consumers provide additional relevant information and if the credit reporting agency (CRA) was “making good faith efforts” to investigate as quickly as possible.
“We will monitor furnishers to ensure that they do not improperly report negative credit information, and we will monitor the CRAs to ensure that the CRAs timely and meaningfully investigate disputes arising from improper reporting by furnishers,” the AGs wrote in their letter. “In addition, we expect the CRAs to comply with all provisions of the FCRA, state law, and the requirements of agreements that the CRAs entered into with our offices, CRAs’ obligations to conduct meaningful and timely investigations of consumer disputes of credit information.”