The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a government agency that has the new task of regulating the credit reporting industry and has asked the credit bureaus

[Equifax, TransUnion, Experian, and Innovis] to review documentation sent by consumers in supporting a dispute.

Problems with Disputing negative information with the CRA’s

Currently when a consumer disputes errors on a credit report, they can send supporting documentation that may not get relayed to the creditor or debt collector reporting the account. The credit reporting industry uses a system called E-Oscar®. This system transmits information from creditors to the credit bureaus and vice versa. Currently, there is not an effective way for the credit bureaus to send documentation supporting a claim to the creditors or debt collectors. In essence, the credit bureaus can not send the information a creditor needs to make a decision as to whether credit reporting  is valid under FCRA.

On September 4, 2013, the CFPB released Bulletin 201309 requesting the credit bureaus furnish documents sent in by consumers to the creditors or debt collectors. This gives the data furnisher the proper documentation to make a decision as to whether a credit report should be corrected. The CFPB said

[quote float=”right”]The CFPB also expects every furnisher to review and consider “all relevant information” relating to the dispute, including documents that the CRA includes with the notice of dispute or transmits during the investigation, and the furnisher’s own information with respect to the dispute.[/quote]

CFPB Request Altering Credit Disputes with Credit Bureaus

The CFPB believes that this request is in compliance with FCRA [15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2)(A), (B).] which states that the credit bureau must provide all relevant information promptly provide the creditor or debt collector “all relevant information” regarding the dispute that the credit bureau timely received from the consumer.  The debt collector or creditor, in turn, must “conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information,” “review all relevant information” provided by the credit bureau, and respond appropriately based on the result of the investigation. The CFPB expects credit bureaus and creditors / debt collectors to comply fully with these FCRA requirements, thereby promoting the accuracy and completeness of information in the consumer reporting system.

To fully comply with the new request and FCRA the credit bureaus must:

  1. Maintaining a system reasonably capable of receiving from credit bureaus information regarding disputes, including supporting documentation;
  2. Conducting an investigation of the disputed information including reviewing:
    a. “all relevant information” forwarded by the credit bureaus and;
    b. the creditor’s/debt collector’s own information with respect to the dispute;
  3. Reporting the results of the investigation to the credit bureaus that sent the dispute;
  4. Providing corrected information to every nationwide credit bureau that received the information if the information is inaccurate or incomplete; and
  5. Modifying or deleting the disputed information, or permanently blocking the reporting of the information if the information is incomplete or inaccurate, or cannot be verified.

If you feel your FCRA rights may have been violated or are confused as to what your obligations are or the creditors obligations are under Texas and Federal law, please contact The Pettit Law Firm by calling (214) 506-2500 or emailing [email protected]