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CFPB expands consumer complaint system to include credit reporting firms

Richard Cordray

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced this week that it will begin accepting complaints on consumer reporting agencies as part of a larger effort to hold firms accountable and enhance consumer protections.

“Credit reporting companies exert great influence over the lives of consumers,” Richard Cordray, the director of the CFPB, said, according to American Banker. “They help determine eligibility for loans, housing and sometimes jobs. Consumers need an avenue of recourse when they feel they have been wronged.”

Consumers will, for the first time, receive federal complaint assistance related to the firms and can ask the agency for assistance related to issues with incorrect information on credit reports, improper use of a credit report, inability to obtain a copy of a credit score, as well as problems related to identity protection services or credit monitoring.

The CFPB advised consumers to go through the credit reporting firm’s complaint process and wait for a response before filing with the CFPB, American Banker reports.

The rule, which was finalized in July, gives the CFPB the authority to supervise consumer credit reporting firms with more than $7 million in annual receipts, approximately 30 firms that account for 94 percent of the market’s total annual receipts.

Large credit reporting firms like Experian maintain files on more than 200 million Americans and issue more than three billion reports annually, according to American Banker.

The agency’s announcement expands its complaint portal, which has allowed consumers to file complaints related to credit cards, student loans, consumer loans, mortgages and banking services.