As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact consumers and businesses around the world, many U.S. creditors are wondering whether to continue reporting delinquent payments to the credit bureaus.
The short answer is: Yes – but with flexibility built in.
Read on to learn more about the CFPB’s guidance on the responsibilities of data furnishers during COVID-19.
CFPB Guidance on FCRA and CARES Act During COVID-19 Crisis
On April 1, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a statement with guidance on the responsibilities of data furnishers under the CARES Act and flexibility of enforcement actions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are a few highlights:
Furnishing Consumer Information Impacted by COVID-19
Payment flexibility encouraged
Institutions are encouraged to be flexible when working with borrowers, allowing consumers to defer or skip payments as required by the CARES Act or voluntarily.
Continue furnishing information to the credit reporting agencies
While not legally obligated to report to the consumer reporting agencies, institutions are encouraged to continue furnishing information despite the crisis, as accurate information benefits consumers, furnishers, and the economy as a whole.
Report COVID-19 payment accommodations as “current”
The CARES Act amends the FCRA, requiring furnishers to report credit obligations as current if COVID-19-impacted borrowers seek and receive payment accommodations from lenders.
No enforcement actions taken against COVID-19 payment accommodations
In support of furnishers’ efforts to provide relief, the CFPB does not intend to cite or take enforcement actions if furnished info accurately reflects crisis payment relief measures.
30-day investigation period extensions
As operational disruptions may pose challenges to investigating consumer disputes, the 30-day dispute investigation period required by the FCRA may be extended to 45 days, if the consumer provides additional, relevant information during the 30-day period.
Furnishers’ individual circumstances considered
In evaluating compliance with the FCRA as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFPB does not intend to cite or bring enforcement actions against institutions making good faith efforts to investigate disputes as quickly as possible, even if investigations take longer than the statutory timeframe.
Furnisher constraints considered in determining dismissal of frivolous disputes
The CFPB will take into consideration the significant constraints furnishers face in its determinations, if furnishers take advantage of provisions that eliminate the obligation to investigate disputes submitted by credit repair organizations and those reasonably determined to be frivolous or irrelevant.
Additional Resources for Consumers
Resources for consumers facing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the CFPB website at www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/.
Compassionate Collections in the Time of Coronavirus
Treating consumers with kindness, dignity and respect is more important than ever.
At Cedar Financial, we understand that empathy is key to success. Our People-First Approach is proven to repair customer relationships and provide your debtors with the flexibility and encouragement they need to pay their bills.
If you need assistance with debt recovery during the COVID-19 crisis, we can help.
See the People-First difference today.
*The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.