Following the CFPB’s study that found discrepancies regarding credit scores and reporting, it should come as no surprise that the CFPB has expanded its complaint database to include credit reporting. Director Cordray explained that the CFPB made this change because, “[c]redit reporting companies exert great influence over the lives of consumers” and “[c]onsumers need an avenue of recourse when they feel they have been wronged.” This action also means that credit reporting agencies will now bear the burden (and cost) of responding to those the complaints pursuant to the CFPB’s protocols.

The credit reporting companies will now be required to respond to complaints screened by the CFPB. The CFPB will then review and investigate all complaints “in which the consumer disputes the response or where companies fail to provide a timely response.” This process will undoubtedly result in increased regulatory costs for credit reporting companies, which may ultimately get passed down to consumers.

According to the CFPB, consumers can file complaints regarding:

  • Incorrect information on a credit report;
  • A consumer reporting agency’s investigation;
  • The improper use of a credit report;
  • The ability to obtain a copy of a credit score or file; and
  • Problems with credit monitoring or identify protection services.

The CFPB began accepting consumer complaints regarding credit cards in July 2011 and has since expanded its database to include complaints on mortgages, bank accounts and services, consumer loans and private student loans. Since initiating this program, the CFPB claims to have received over 79,000 consumer complaints.

Stay tuned to the CFPB-Lawblog for updates, as we’ll continue to monitor this developing issue.