Report alleges companies failed to ensure accuracy of credit reports, including not excluding data from ID theft, human trafficking

Some consumer reporting companies failed to ensure the accuracy of credit reports, including by failing to exclude information resulting from alleged identity theft or human trafficking, the federal consumer financial protection agency charged in a report issued Monday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) report also alleged that furnishers – companies that provide information to consumer reporting companies – failed to correct false or fraudulent information sent to consumer reporting companies.

The report, included in the latest edition of the agency’s Supervisory Highlights, is based on findings by the agency from recent examinations of the credit reporting companies.

Among the key findings by examiners outlined in the report are:

  • Companies refused to honor consumer requests to block information associated with identity theft based on overbroad criteria; failed to inform consumers when blocks were denied or rescinded; failed to provide victims of identity theft with summaries of rights; and failed to timely block all information resulting from human trafficking identified by consumers.
  • Companies accepted information from furnishers that may have been no longer providing reliable, verifiable information about consumers. “For example, consumer reporting companies continued to include information from furnishers that failed to respond to all or nearly all disputes or that issued the same responses to all disputes,” CFPB said.
  • Auto loan furnishers continued to share incomplete or inaccurate information for several months or even years after learning the information was false, incomplete, or inaccurate. In other instances, furnishers provided information even after they determined the information was fraudulent or due to identity theft, the bureau said.
  • Some furnishers continued to supply information that consumers were disputing without indicating the information was in dispute. In other instances, furnishers failed to conduct investigations into the accuracy of information consumers disputed, the agency said.

CFPB said that, in response to the charges in the report, the involved consumer reporting companies and furnishers are taking corrective actions.

Supervisory Highlights, Issue 32 (Spring 2024)