The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a policy statement Wednesday outlining the responsibility of credit reporting companies and furnishers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act signed into law last week requires lenders to report to credit bureaus that consumers are current on their loans if consumers have sought relief from their lenders due to the pandemic.
The CFPB’s statement informs lenders they must comply with the Act. The statement also encourages lenders to continue to voluntarily provide payment relief to consumers and to report accurate information to credit bureaus relating to this relief.
In addition, acknowledging staffing and resources constraints on lenders and credit bureaus due to the pandemic, the Bureau’s statement also provides flexibility for lenders and credit bureaus in the time they take to investigate disputes. The Bureau stated that it does not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against firms who exceed the deadlines to investigate such disputes as long as they make good faith efforts during the pandemic to do so as quickly as possible.
The CFPB notes this guidance is a non-binding statement of policy related to the exercise of its supervisory and enforcement authority.