CFPB Issues FAQs on Consumer Reporting and the CARES Act

The CFPB recently issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions relating to its earlier Policy Statement providing guidance for furnishers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Regulation V and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). 

The April 2020 Policy Statement, which WBK previously covered here, acknowledged that the CARES Act amends FCRA and announced that the CFPB would allow for more flexibility concerning FCRA and Regulation V compliance. The CFPB will consider the difficulties entities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic while exercising its supervisory and enforcement roles. It will also consider entities’ good faith efforts to comply with their obligations within stated deadlines.

The CFPB has now issued a set of ten FAQs to provide additional guidance to furnishers.  In particular, the FAQs address what an accommodation is for purposes of the CARES Act amendments to FCRA, and what a furnisher’s consumer reporting obligations are when the furnisher provides a consumer an accommodation.

The FAQs also discuss what furnishers need to consider when reporting consumers as current pursuant to the CARES Act, and explain that furnishers should not use special comment codes for natural or declared disasters in connection with the CARES Act.  Furnishers also should not report all of their consumers’ accounts as being in forbearance (since some consumers are neither delinquent nor have requested a forbearance).

Finally, the FAQs address what furnishers must do in reporting the status of an account after a CARES Act accommodation ends.