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- The end of the CDC eviction moratorium could increase negative rental information in the consumer reporting system.
- More information accuracy will increase rental application acceptances and promote fair, equitable recovery.
- Black, Hispanic, and Asian American renters are especially vulnerable, considering they are twice as likely as white renters to be behind on their rent.
- Minorities are also at an increased risk for having someone else’s negative information erroneously included with theirs.
As the federal moratorium on evictions comes to an end, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reminds landlords and consumer reporting agencies of their critical obligation to accurately report on rental and eviction information. Inaccurate rental or eviction information on a tenant screening report or credit report can unfairly block families and individuals from safe, affordable housing.
As the country starts to recover and pandemic financial assistance programs come to an end, the CFPB is focused on protecting families from being denied housing based on inaccurate information. The CFPB enforcement compliance bulletin is part of an ongoing commitment to an equitable and fair recovery.
“For families already struggling to make ends meet, an inaccurate report can be the difference between homelessness or settling into a safe and affordable home,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “Landlords and consumer reporting agencies have clear obligations under federal law, regarding the accuracy of the information reported about tenants, and to conduct timely investigations when consumers dispute information. They need to get this right. The CFPB will closely monitor their compliance, and we will use all the tools at our disposal including enforcement, to protect consumers during this critical time.”
As the nation begins moving people off financial assistance and onto their own two feet, accuracy in consumer credit reports will be essential to the process. More accuracy will increase rental application acceptances and promote fair, equitable recovery.
The CFPB is currently concerned that the end of the CDC eviction moratorium could mean an increase in negative rental information in the consumer reporting system, and an increase in consumers seeking rental housing. The combination of the effects could exacerbate existing problems with accurate tenant-screening. Any inaccuracies would especially hurt renters seeking new housing, including those already behind on rent.
Black, Hispanic, and Asian American renters are especially vulnerable, considering they are twice as likely as white renters to be behind on their rent, according to a CFPB analysis of U.S. Census Bureau housing data. Minorities are also at an increased risk for having someone else’s negative information erroneously included with theirs, because their community lacks diversity in surnames compared to white communities.
The CFPB intends to look at landlords, property managers, and debt collectors to see if they are furnishing accurate information to CRA’s. Specifically, the CFPB plans to look at amounts already paid on behalf of a tenant through a government grant or relief program, and fees or penalties prohibited by CARES Act section 4024(b).
The CFPB will also be looking to see if companies are including only accurate rental information in individuals’ consumer reports, reporting rental information for the correct subject, preventing the inclusion of eviction records that have been expunged or sealed, and properly investigating when consumers report inaccuracies.
In the event that furnishers or CRA’s do not meet their obligations, the CFPB will have to take action to address violations, including the remediation of harm done to the consumer.
This compliance bulletin can be found in the compliance resources section of the CFPB website.