The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued another reminder that, effective January 1, 2013, it will assume responsibility for enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Earlier this year, the CFPB revised various FCRA model forms and mandated that they be implemented by this date.
The CFPB released another round of edits on November 14, 2012, to correct “typographical and other technical errors” in four of these forms: the Summary of Consumer Identity Theft Rights (Appendix I); the Summary of Consumer Rights (Appendix K); the Notice of Furnisher Responsibilities (Appendix M); and the Notice of User Responsibilities (Appendix N). The new forms and a brief explanation of their changes can be found here.
Of these forms, the Summary of Consumer Rights and the Notice of User Responsibilities are of primary interest to employers that use results of background checks in making employment decisions. The FCRA requires employers to provide individuals with the Summary of Consumer Rights before taking adverse employment action based on such results. The Notice of User Responsibilities summarizes the duties of employers as users of consumer reports under the FCRA.
Employers already using the previously published model forms may continue to do so for now. The CFPB has stated that it intends to restate the entire regulation in 2013, and once that occurs, all employers must use the new forms to comply with the FCRA.
While the latest changes are technical, they may foreshadow that the CFPB is gearing up to undertake an active supervisory and enforcement role under the FCRA. Employers should be particularly aware of these developments as they occur, and they should review their policies and procedures to ensure continued compliance with the Act.