Comments due May 9 on proposal protecting human trafficking survivors from negative credit reports

A proposed rule prohibiting consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) from including negative information resulting from abuse of human trafficking survivors in those individuals’ credit reports is subject to a public comment period that concludes May 9.

The proposal, announced April 7 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and published Friday in the Federal Register, would implement a revision last year to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) under the Debt Bondage Repair Act (DBRA).

The CFPB said the proposed rule would aid survivors seeking to open bank accounts, access credit, and gain employment. Briefly, it said it will include guidelines to help survivors know how to report their status as having experienced a form of trafficking. It would require CRAs to block adverse information in consumer reports after receiving a survivor’s submission of documentation, it said, and would be applicable to all CRAs.

The proposal would require CRAs to notify a survivor of actions taken in response to their submission, retain evidence of the survivor’s submission for seven years, and establish written policies and procedures to remain in compliance with the rule, the bureau said.

It said that beyond the “big three” CRAs (TransUnion, Experian and TransUnion), the rule would also apply to specialty CRAs, including firms focusing on areas like employment screening, tenant screening, check and bank screening, personal property insurance, medical, low-income and subprime, supplementary reports, utilities, retail, and gambling.

Reg lookup: Prohibition on Inclusion of Adverse Information in Consumer Reporting in Cases of Human Trafficking (Regulation V)