On July 20, the FTC withdrew its FCRA Commentary. In addition, the FTC released a staff report, which, among other things, compiles and updates the FTC’s interpretations from the Commentary. The FTC withdrew its Commentary and issued its staff report one day before the “Designated Transfer Date,” the appointed day on which the Consumer Financial Protection Act became effective, and authority to enforce and administer the various consumer credit protection laws, including the FCRA, transferred to the CFPB.
The Commentary historically provided broad guidance on how the FTC believed that the FCRA should be interpreted, and for twenty years has served as a critical source of guidance for practitioners, courts, and regulators. The FTC apparently removed the Commentary because the FTC believed it had “become partially obsolete” due to the passage of time and multiple FCRA amendments. The FTC’s Commentary, whether properly authorized or not, has been the only substantial source of regulatory guidance under the FCRA since the statute’s inception.