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1.4.11 The Dodd-Frank Act

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act),331 the most important change to consumer protection law since passage in the late 1960s–early 1970s of the various laws that make up the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed as a response to consumer abuses in mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products. These abuses in part led to the foreclosure crisis and mortgage meltdown of 2008, which in turn triggered the great recession of the late 2000s.332

The Dodd-Frank Act completely revamped the entire regulatory system for consumer credit and financial products, establishing in Title X a new agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.333 The Dodd-Frank Act also made substantial changes to many of the statutes in the Consumer Credit Protection Act—not only the FCRA, but also the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, and several others.

The Dodd-Frank Act assigns to the CFPB much of the FCRA rulemaking and enforcement authority that the FTC and banking regulators held previously.334 The CFPB’s rulemaking authority over the FCRA is discussed in §, supra. The CFPB’s enforcement and supervision authority is discussed in § 13.3.2, infra.

With respect to supervision and enforcement, the CFPB has authority over the “larger participants” of the consumer credit reporting market, which include the Big Three nationwide CRAs (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) as well as a number of other CRAs, such as specialty CRAs and resellers.335 This authority includes the ability to actively supervise or examine these larger participants, as well as take enforcement action. The CFPB also has supervision and enforcement authority over furnishers who are financial institutions with over $10 billion in assets.336

The Dodd-Frank Act preserves the FTC’s rulemaking authority over two significant provisions of the FCRA: the red flag rules337 and the disposal of consumer information rule.338 In addition, the FTC and banking regulators retain FCRA enforcement authority over smaller participants and financial institutions.339

Finally, the Dodd-Frank Act added one substantive protection to the FCRA, a requirement that creditors, when providing an adverse action340 or risk-based notice,341 include in that notice the actual credit score used in making the decision.342 It also required the CFPB to issue a study on the differences between credit scores sold to lenders versus those sold to consumers.343