On September 19, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission announced they will hold a joint public workshop on December 10 related to key issues of accuracy governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including those related to the accuracy of both traditional credit reports as well as employment and tenant background screening reports. According to the regulators, new developments like machine learning and alternative data in making eligibility determinations present both opportunities and challenges for the industry.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Constitution Center, 400 7th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C., and will be webcast live on the FTC’s website.

The workshop is aimed at creating a wide-ranging discussion between a variety of entities and stakeholders in the industry. Comments have been requested from interested individuals, and according to the FTC, topics could include:

  • What are the lessons from the CFPB’s supervisory reviews of CRAs and furnishers on accuracy and dispute obligations?
  • What are the lessons from CFPB and FTC enforcement cases on furnisher and CRA accuracy obligations?
  • How do furnishing practices differ based on the types of furnishers and the information they furnish to CRAs, and how does that impact accuracy?
  • What has been the effect of the removal of most civil judgments and tax liens from credit reports and recent changes in the reporting of medical debt?
  • How do background screening CRAs address accuracy in light of the limited personal identifying information included in public records?
  • What opportunities or challenges does inclusion of non-traditional data in credit reports, credit scoring models, or background screening reports present for accuracy?
  • Can new technologies and data management practices be used to improve accuracy?
  • How do consumers learn about inaccuracies on their consumer reports and navigate the current dispute process?
  • What are the experiences of victims of identity theft in the dispute process?
  • How have the changes to the dispute process contained in the National Consumer Assistance Plan, which evolved out of the 2015 multi-state settlement, impacted the consumer experience?
  • Once consumers get erroneous information removed from their credit files through the dispute process, do they still have difficulties getting loans or other credit?
  • What government measures (including changes in the law) and private sector measures could improve accuracy? What are the costs and benefits of these possible measures?

Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor and report on developments involving the FTC and CFPB.