Accuracy of credit, background screening reports up for discussion in December

Issues affecting the accuracy of both traditional credit reports and employment and tenant background screening reports will be under discussion at an “accuracy in consumer reporting” workshop set for the second week of December, sponsored by two federal agencies that focus on consumer protection.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are hosting the Dec. 10 event, the agencies said Thursday. It is intended to follow up on a 2012 FTC study on accuracy in credit reporting. Since then, the agencies said, “changes in the landscape” have occurred that affect consumer report accuracy.

The agencies noted, for example, that beginning in 2012 the bureau began conducting supervisory reviews over large credit reporting agencies (CRAs), as well as various providers of consumer financial products or services that furnish information about consumers to CRAs.

“In addition, in 2015, following state investigations regarding various credit reporting issues, the nationwide CRAs agreed to a multi-state settlement that requires stricter standards for matching records, removal of certain public record information, and restrictions on medical debt reporting,” the agencies said in a release.

The CFPB and FTC also pointed to other developments since then, including use of machine learning and alternative data in making eligibility determinations, that they said present both opportunities and challenges for the consumer reporting industry.

The agencies said the workshop will bring together stakeholders – including industry representatives, consumer advocates, and regulators – for a wide-ranging public discussion on the many issues impacting the accuracy of consumer reports.

CFPB and FTC to Host December Workshop on Accuracy in Consumer Reporting