On June 29, 2020, the United State House of Representatives passed the Protecting Your Credit Act of 2020, H.R. 5332. The purpose of the bill is to “ensure that consumer reporting agencies are providing fair and accurate information reporting in consumer reports” by amending certain provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).
If the Protecting Your Credit Act of 2020 becomes law, it would amend the FCRA to add requirements for credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”) and furnishers, including:
- Directing CRAs to create an unlimited, free central online portal that allows consumers to access credit reports and credit scores, dispute errors, and place or lift security freezes. The portal must also allow a consumer to see who has accessed their credit report within the last 24 months and the purpose for which the report was furnished. (H.R. 5332, Sec. 2, 6.)
- Requiring CRAs to verify specified identifying information when adding credit information to a consumer’s file and to perform periodic audits of credit reports. (R. 5332, Sec. 3.)
- Requiring CRAs to provide consumers with additional information about reinvestigations. R. 5332 (Sec. 4.)
- Creating a duty for furnishers to investigate complaints so long as a consumer submits new or additional information. (R. 5332, Sec. 4.)
The bill provides the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the statutory authority to supervise CRAs and creates a credit reporting ombudsperson at the CFPB to resolve persistent errors by CRAs, among other things. (H.R. 5332, Sec. 4, 8.) Additionally, the bill tasks the Government Accountability Office with reporting on the feasibility of CRAs using a mode of consumer identification other than social security numbers. (H.R. 5332, Sec. 11.)
Finally, the passing of the Protecting Your Credit Act of 2020 (H.R. 5332) would expand the FCRA’s private right of action, allowing courts to award injunctive relief to compel a CRA to comply with credit report protections. (H.R. 5332, Sec. 5.)
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP will continue to monitor this legislation for further developments and what it means for the industry.