Q: Shortly after Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), Pub. L. 116-136, the Bureau issued a statement addressing consumer reporting and the CARES Act. What did that statement say?
A: On April 1, 2020, the Bureau issued a Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Priorities Regarding the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V in Light of the CARES Act (Statement). In the Statement, the Bureau informed furnishers of their responsibilities under the CARES Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and stated that the Bureau expects furnishers to comply with the CARES Act. Under the CARES Act amendments to the FCRA, a consumer whose account was not previously delinquent is current on their loan if they have received an accommodation and make any payments the accommodation requires.
The Statement also addressed the FCRA requirements for consumer reporting agencies and furnishers to investigate disputes within specific timeframes. The Bureau indicated that in evaluating compliance with these dispute investigations timeframes, the Bureau will consider the individual circumstances that consumer reporting agencies and furnishers face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Statement makes clear, however, that the Bureau expects furnishers and consumer reporting agencies to make good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as possible, and that absent impediments due to COVID-19, disputes should be resolved under FCRA requirements.