UPDATED: Bureau issues two advisory opinions under FCRA: on disclosures, background screening

A consumer does not need to use specific language to trigger a consumer reporting agency’s file disclosure requirements, according to an advisory opinion issued Thursday by the federal consumer financial protection agency.

The agency also issued a second advisory opinion on background screening.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that, under the first opinion, no words such as “complete file” or “file” are required to prompt the agency’s file disclosure. The opinion also highlights requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) the information that must be disclosed to a consumer by a credit reporting agency when providing their file disclosure.

The opinion also affirms that consumer reporting agencies must disclose to a consumer both the original source and any intermediary or vendor source (or sources) that provide the item of information to the consumer reporting agency, CFPB said.

In a second advisory opinion issued Thursday, the CFPB affirmed that a consumer reporting agency that reports public record information, for background screening purposes, is not using reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy under the FCRA if it does not have procedures in place under two circumstances. Those are:

  • preventing reporting information that is duplicative or that has been expunged, sealed, or otherwise legally restricted from public access;
  • including any existing disposition information if it reports arrests, criminal charges, eviction proceedings, or other court filings.

The opinion also highlights several timing requirements when including adverse information in consumer reports, the agency said.

Fair Credit Reporting; File Disclosure/Federal Register notice

Fair Credit Reporting: Background Screening/Federal Register notice