On May 25, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) published a blog post, examining what it describes as the “practice of suppressing payment data.”

Per the blog post, the CFPB alleges that its research conducted in 2020 “uncovered that only about half of the largest credit card companies contribute data to credit reporting companies about the exact monthly payment amounts made by borrowers.” As a result, the CFPB reported that it has sent letters to the CEOs of “the nation’s biggest credit card companies,” asking them to explain this practice.

The letter alleges that “several large credit card companies have not been populating the actual payment amount field on credit card accounts regularly furnished to the nationwide credit reporting agencies.” Without this information, the CFPB worries it may be more difficult for lenders to price credit and offer the best valued credit offers and loans for consumers.

While there is no statutory obligation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act requiring a company to report consumers’ account data to consumer reporting agencies, the CFPB would like to better understand the reasoning behind the alleged practice of companies choosing not to report monthly payment information. To do this, the CFPB is asking these credit card companies five questions, with a requested 30-day turnaround.

  1. If actual payment was a field your company previously furnished regularly or consistently since 2012, but no longer does, what was the rationale and decision process behind that change?
  2. If actual payment was a field your company has never regularly or consistently furnished, or has not done so since 2012 or earlier, has there been a rationale for that practice? If so, please describe.
  3. If actual payment is a field your company furnishes today for some, but not all, of your card account products, please describe the rationale and circumstances for this practice.
  4. Are there material barriers that would prevent including the actual payment field in the account information your company already furnishes?
  5. Does your company have plans to start furnishing actual payment amount information? How quickly could your company begin furnishing actual payment information consistently and accurately?
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Photo of Ethan G. Ostroff Ethan G. Ostroff

Ethan specializes in the defense of consumer actions, including class and mass actions, general business litigation, as well as regulatory compliance.

Photo of Kim Phan Kim Phan

Kim is a privacy and data security lawyer who counsels companies in federal and state privacy and data security statutes and regulations. Her work encompasses strategic planning and guidance for companies to incorporate privacy and data security considerations throughout product development, marketing, and

Kim is a privacy and data security lawyer who counsels companies in federal and state privacy and data security statutes and regulations. Her work encompasses strategic planning and guidance for companies to incorporate privacy and data security considerations throughout product development, marketing, and implementation.

Photo of Stefanie Jackman Stefanie Jackman

Stefanie devotes her practice to assisting financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on complex compliance issues, as well as defending them in individual and class action lawsuits. Stefanie represents clients across the financial services industry, including…

Stefanie devotes her practice to assisting financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on complex compliance issues, as well as defending them in individual and class action lawsuits. Stefanie represents clients across the financial services industry, including banks and nonbanks, mortgage banking lenders and servicers, debt collectors and buyers, third-party service providers, health care and medical revenue cycle service providers, credit and prepaid card companies, auto lenders, and fintechs. She regularly advises her clients on issues arising under an array of federal and state consumer financial laws, including UDAP/UDAAP statutes, the FDCPA, FCRA, TCPA, EFTA, SCRA, and TILA.

In addition to her litigation and government investigations work, Stefanie focuses a significant portion of her practice on providing compliance-related advice to her clients. She regularly counsels clients on conducting compliance assessments relating to their debt collection, credit reporting and dispute resolution processes, fair lending and underwriting, and vendor oversight, as well as the functionality of their overall compliance management system. Stefanie also brings her litigation and enforcement experience to bear in assisting clients in designing new products and processes, including product structuring, advertising, online application flows, underwriting, and servicing-related strategies.

Photo of Chris Willis Chris Willis

Chris is the co-leader of the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory practice at the firm. He advises financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on compliance issues including UDAP/UDAAP, credit reporting, debt collection, and fair lending, and defending…

Chris is the co-leader of the Consumer Financial Services Regulatory practice at the firm. He advises financial services institutions facing state and federal government investigations and examinations, counseling them on compliance issues including UDAP/UDAAP, credit reporting, debt collection, and fair lending, and defending them in individual and class action lawsuits brought by consumers and enforcement actions brought by government agencies.

Chris also leverages insights from his litigation and enforcement experience to help clients design new products and processes, including machine learning marketing, fraud prevention and underwriting models, product structure, advertising, online application flows, underwriting, and collection and loss mitigation strategies.

Chris brings a highly practical focus to his legal advice, informed by balancing a deep understanding of the business of consumer finance and the practical priorities of federal and state regulatory agencies.

Chris speaks frequently at conferences across the country on consumer financial services law and has been featured in numerous articles in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington PostAmerican BankerNational Law JournalBNA Bloomberg, and Bank Safety and Soundness Advisor.