The CFPB recently issued two notices: one addressing charges for disclosures under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the other regarding the Bureau’s final language access plan.
Fair Credit Reporting Act Disclosures
The CFPB announced that the ceiling on allowable charges under the Fair Credit Reporting Act will remain unchanged at $12.00, effective for 2018. Section 612(f)(1)(A) of FCRA allows consumer reporting agencies to charge consumers a reasonable amount for making a disclosure to consumers pursuant to Section 609 of the Act. Section 609 requires reporting agencies to disclose certain information which they record and maintain about specific consumers, including: the information contained in a consumer’s file; various sources of information; the identity of persons who procured consumer reports; information about questionable checks written by the consumer; inquiries received by the agency about the consumer; and a statement that consumers may request and obtain credit scores. With the exception of a few exemptions, all information must be disclosed to borrowers upon their request.
The Bureau increases the Act’s original $8.00 maximum amount on January 1 of each year. Each increase is based proportionally on changes in the Consumer Price Index, with fractional changes rounded to the nearest fifty cents. This year, the Index showed a 53.11 percent increase from September 1997 (the month that Section 612 came into effective) to September 2017. Although an increase of 53.11 percent in the $8.00 base figure results in a figure of $12.25, the maximum charge is $12.00, because the figure must be rounded to the nearest $0.50. The new charge will become effective on January 1, 2018.
Final Language Access Plan
After over three years of preparation, the CFPB issued its Final Language Access Plan, which aims to provide persons with limited proficiency in English with access to the Bureau’s programs and services.
Among the many components of the final plan are:
- The creation of a Language Access Task Force.
- The continued review of consumer complaints, handled by the Bureau’s Office of Consumer Response.
- Providing translation and interpretation services to various parties during the course of supervisory examinations and enforcement investigations.
- Designing and delivering a variety of free consumer financial education materials and tools in more than 10 languages.
- Allowing consumers to choose to receive written communications in Spanish.
- Engaging with key stakeholders within Limited English Proficiency communities, and increasing awareness in those communities about CFPB resources.
- Adherence to the Bureau’s major rules which address language access, such as TRID, the Remittance Transfer Rule, and the Prepaid Rule.