Financial watchdog tells credit companies to investigate disputes

Sept. 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Companies supplying data for credit reports must investigate consumer disputes sent to them from credit bureaus, the U.S. financial protection watchdog said.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a bulletin released Wednesday, said companies that supply consumer information, called furnishers, are also responsible for reviewing all relevant information that accompanies the disputes, including consumer-submitted documents.

"Credit reports play a critical role in the lives of consumers," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a release. "Given the importance of these reports, consumers need to know that their documents are being reviewed when they dispute what they believe is a mistake on a report. Today's bulletin helps ensure that the right people will be doing just that."

Consumers may file a dispute with a consumer reporting company about an entry on their credit report, the CFPB said. If they do, the consumer reporting company must inform the furnisher about the dispute and is required to forward relevant information about the dispute to the furnisher. Once the furnisher receives the information, it must review, investigate and respond to the consumer reporting company.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau bulletin also said furnishers must report results of their investigation to credit bureaus if it was possible that the bureaus received inaccurate or incomplete credit information. The CFPB said furnishers also must modify, delete or block disputed information that is incomplete, inaccurate or can't be verified.

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