Credit Reporting + Data Brokers

On July 27, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new blog post, positing that cashflow data, broadly defined as the various inflows, outflows, and accumulated amounts in a consumer’s checking and savings accounts, may provide lenders with a better picture of a consumer’s ability to repay their loans than using a credit score.

In Frazier v. Dovenmuehle Mortgage, Inc., the Seventh Circuit recently issued an opinion affirming summary judgement in favor of the defendant data furnisher in a suit brought by a consumer under § 1681s-2(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requiring data furnishers upon notice of a dispute to “investigate the disputed data” and “correct or verify the information by returning the ACDV form to the credit reporting agency [CRA] with any amended or verified data inserted next to the old data.” The appellate court rejected the consumer’s argument that the information provided by the furnisher on an ACDV response to a CRA was materially misleading, even though the CRA’s inaccurate interpretation of the ACDV response led the CRA to report that the consumer was currently delinquent on a settled debt.

The drumbeat to increase regulation of tenant screening continues, this time in Michigan.

On June 15, Michigan state Representative Brenda Carter (D-29) introduced House Bill 4818, which proposes to amend landlord-tenant act 1972 PA 348. Specifically, the amendment proposes to exclude the credit score of a prospective Michigan tenant from being a deciding factor in determining the prospective tenant’s eligibility for a lease. Under the proposed amendment “credit score” is defined as, “the numerical score ranging from 300 to 850 assigned by a consumer reporting agency to measure credit risk.”

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s denial of preliminary injunctive relief to plaintiffs challenging Nevada Senate Bill 248 (S.B. 248), which places new restrictions on the collection of consumer medical debt. In doing so, the court found the bill neither ran afoul of the First Amendment, nor was preempted by the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read on for further analysis.

By way of background, S.B. 248 amended chapter 649 of the Nevada Revised Statutes governing debt collection agencies. Passed in response to the uptick in needed medical care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, S.B. 248 was designed to protect Nevada consumers from potential financial ruin caused by medical debt by imposing new restrictions on the collection of such debt. Among other provisions of the bill, § 7 requires debt collection agencies to send written notification to medical debtors 60 days before taking any action to collect such debt (Section 7 Notice). The Section 7 Notice must inform the debtor that the “medical debt has been assigned to the collection agency” for collection or that the “collection agency has otherwise obtained the medical debt for collection.” During the 60-day period following the notice, a collection agency cannot take “any action to collect a medical debt.” Voluntary payments during the 60-day period are permitted, but a debt collector must disclose to the debtor that “payment is not demanded or due,” and that the “medical debt will not be reported to any credit reporting agency during the 60-day notification period.” Implementing regulations define “action to collect a medical debt” as “any attempt by a collection agency or its manager or agents to collect a medical debt from a medical debtor” and provide examples of what are, and are not, “attempts” to collect such debt.

Do companies that use workplace surveillance tools to make hiring and firing decisions risk violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)? According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) in a recent comment, the answer to that question is yes. The Bureau’s official comment comes in response to a request for information

A district court in the Western District of Washington held that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not require a consumer reporting agency (CRA), as part of its investigative duties, to issue an opinion on the legal validity of a consumer’s debt. Through its holding, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and

Earlier this month, a district court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed on its own initiative a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) claim brought by a consumer alleging inaccurate reporting of her charged-off vehicle loan. The court’s opinion in Shelton v. Americredit Financial Services, Inc. provides a nuts-and-bolts analysis of what does not constitute inaccurate credit reporting for purposes of the FCRA.

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund (PIRG) released a report analyzing consumer complaints submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2021 and 2022. The report noted that consumer complaint totals set a new record in 2021 (496,000), only to have that record broken by a considerable margin in 2022 (800,394). According to PIRG, complaints

In a recent decision, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) case where a bank promptly corrected inaccurate mortgage payment information furnished to three national consumer reporting agencies (CRAs).

In their complaint, the plaintiffs asserted FCRA claims against the bank holding

In Suluki v. Credit One Bank, N.A. (Credit One), the Southern District of New York recently granted summary judgement to a creditor in a suit alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for failure to conduct a reasonable investigation into plaintiff’s dispute claiming identity theft.

The plaintiff claimed that while she was away