On December 17, the CFPB announced a consent order against a Minnesota-based auto dealer and its affiliated financing company for alleged violations of the FCRA and the CFPA. The CFPB alleged that the auto dealer, acting through its financing company, (i) repeatedly furnished inaccurate consumer credit information for more than 84,000 customers from January 2009 through September 2013; and (ii) engaged in deceptive acts and practices by failing to report “good credit” to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) for tens of thousands of consumers after making written representations that the it would report positive credit information to help consumers build and maintain good credit. Alleged FCRA violations include: (i) inaccurately reporting that vehicles were repossessed and borrowers owed balances after the vehicles were returned to the dealer in accordance with the company’s 72-hour return policy; (ii) inaccurately reporting that consumers had outstanding balances after issuing documentation that disputed accounts had been settled; and (iii) failing to establish and maintain reasonable written policies and procedures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of consumer information furnished to CRAs.
Under the terms of the consent order, the companies are required to pay a $6,465,000 civil money penalty. In addition, the companies must (i) establish and implement written consumer-information furnishing policies and procedures that comply with the Furnisher Rule; (ii) identify and correct inaccurate consumer-information that was furnished to the CRAs (iv) cease from making false representations that it will report “good credit” or other positive information to the CRAs; (v) provide affected consumers with free credit reports; and (vi) implement an effective audit program of its credit reporting practices.