Final rule blocks adverse items from credit reports due to effects of human trafficking on victims

Helping human trafficking survivors avoid some of the financial consequences of their ordeal is the aim of a final rule issued Thursday by the federal consumer financial protection agency.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that under its final rule, a method has been established for survivors of trafficking to submit documentation to credit reporting companies that identifies any adverse item of information that resulted from human trafficking.

Significantly, the rule prohibits credit reporting companies from providing a report containing the adverse items of information, CFPB said. The agency’s director, Rohit Chopra, said the rule will help clear credit reporting roadblocks that survivors face “as they rebuild their lives.”

More specifically, CFPB said the rule:

  • Provides guidance to survivors on the “trafficking documentation” they need to provide to credit reporting companies;
  • Provides guidance to survivors on reporting status as having experienced a form of trafficking;
  • Requires credit reporting companies to block adverse information in credit reports.

The agency noted that the final rule fulfills a requirement imposed on it by Congress late last year (under the Debt Bondage Repair Act) that the CFPB issue implementing regulations within 180 days of the enactment of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (which contained the Debt Bondage Repair Act).

The final rule updates the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) regulations.

CFPB Helps Survivors Mitigate the Financial Consequences of Human Trafficking

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