The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today put landlords on notice when it published Bulletin 2021-03: Consumer Reporting of Rental Information in the Federal Register. The bulletin reminds landlords, consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and others of their critical obligations to accurately report rental and eviction information.
As pandemic-related government interventions aimed at protecting renters begin to expire over the coming months, the CFPB will be paying particular attention to whether landlords, property management companies and debt collectors are furnishing accurate information to CRAs and complying with their accuracy and dispute obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Regulation V with respect to rental information.
If the CFPB determines that a violation has occurred, it will take appropriate enforcement action to address violations and seek all appropriate corrective measures, including remediation of harm to consumers.The CFPB plans to pay particular attention to whether landlords, property management companies and debt collectors are:
- Providing accurate rental information to CRAs;
- Providing information about rental arrearages that include amounts that were already paid on behalf of a tenant through a government grant or relief program, such as the Emergency Rental Assistance programs;
- Providing information about rental arrearages that include fees or penalties that CARES Act or other laws prohibit charging; and
- Complying with their obligations to investigate disputed information in a consumer report, including whether they are conducting timely and reasonable investigations.
The bulletin also puts CRAs on notice that the CFPB will be looking at whether companies are:
- Following appropriate procedures to include only accurate rental information in individuals’ consumer reports;
- Reporting rental information that belongs to the consumer who is the subject of the report;
- Reporting accurate and complete eviction information, including having reasonable procedures to include the disposition of the eviction, prevent the inclusion of multiple entries for the same eviction action, and prevent the inclusion of eviction records that have been expunged or sealed; and
- Properly investigating when consumers report inaccuracies.
The Enforcement Compliance Bulletin is available here.
For more information, contact Michelle Kitchen.