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Consumer Reporting

New Guidance Suggests Remedies for Tenant Screening Practices

A new HUD guidance explains that tenant screening companies and landlords that use them may potentially violate the Fair Housing Act’s anti-discrimination provisions, which could give rise to private remedies. As explained in this article, the guidance singles out problematic tenant screening practices involving credit history, criminal records, and eviction filings, and lists recommended landlord and screening company actions.

Supreme Court: Federal Agencies Can be Sued Under Fair Credit Reporting Act

On February 8, the Supreme Court held that the FCRA waives federal sovereign immunity from FCRA damage claims when federal agencies furnish inaccurate information to consumer reporting agencies. This article examines the broader implications—other FCRA claims against federal agencies, FCRA claims against state and local agencies, and which other consumer statutes waive sovereign immunity.

Two New CFPB Advisory Opinions Facilitate Private FCRA Litigation

Effective January 23, 2024, two new CFPB advisory opinions clarify a number of critical Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) issues and should facilitate private FCRA litigation. The first advisory opinion addresses accuracy issues in background check reports used by most employers and landlords. The second advisory opinion addresses problems consumers face when seeking complete disclosure of their credit reports.

FCRA Remedies When Criminal Records Lead to Rental Denials

Too frequently landlords deny rental housing applications based upon tenant screening reports containing erroneous or obsolete criminal record histories. This article discusses widespread problems involving criminal record reporting that may give rise to powerful consumer remedies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The article provides practical, step-by-step guidance for obtaining that relief.

CFPB Issues Three FCRA Interpretations with Widespread Implications

This article examines practice implications of three recent CFPB interpretations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including: tenant and background screening companies’ use of name-only matching violates the FCRA; users are strictly liable for permissible use violations; and state law can limit when medical debt, evictions, rental arrears, and criminal records can first be reported.

Congressional, First Circuit, CFPB, and VA Actions Affecting Fair Credit Reporting

A Congressional amendment, a First Circuit decision, two CFPB administrative issuances, a CFPB report, and a Veterans Administration rule all will have significant consequences for consumer reporting under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This article provides the highlights of these recent developments and their implications for consumers, advocates, and FCRA practitioners.

Implications of New CFPB Bulletin on Consumer Reporting of Renters

On July 1, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an Enforcement Compliance Bulletin (hereafter Rental Reporting Bulletin) on consumer reporting issues involving tenant screening reports as well as the reporting of rental information on credit reports. This article outlines key aspects of this “Rental Reporting Bulletin,” highlights the most important implications for...

The Latest on Metro 2: A Key Determinant As to What Goes Into Consumer Reports

Billions of pieces of information that creditors, debt collectors, and other “furnishers” of information send to credit reporting agencies are in a standard format called Metro 2. This article links to updated and expanded information on creditors’ liability when they report consumer data in a non-conforming manner that leads to inaccurate consumer reports.

Key Steps to Minimize Risk After Equifax Data Breach

Nearly every adult with a credit history is at risk of identity theft after the recent Equifax data breach. In this free article, NCLC offers key advice for consumers, with specific steps that can be taken to minimize the risks—freezes, thaws, fraud alerts, credit monitoring, and more.

Fertile Ground for FCRA Claims: Employee & Tenant Background Checks

About 94% of employers and 90% of landlords contract for criminal background checks to evaluate prospective employees and tenants, but these reports are riddled with errors, including erroneous reports of criminal convictions. This article describes widespread errors in criminal background check reports and examines applicable FCRA claims and remedies for these errors.