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CFPB Observer: Recent Developments from Feb. 16-27, 2015

CFPB Issues Study on Credit Reports

On Feb. 19, the CFPB issued a report on a consumer focus group study it conducted regarding consumer credit reports and scores. The study indicates that “while consumers are accessing their credit scores and credit reports in a variety of ways, confusion about both persists.” According to the report, consumers access their credit reports and scores in numerous different ways. Still, some consumers indicated that they were confused about how to check credit reports and scores and how they are derived. Some consumers also indicated that they were unaware of how to improve their credit reports and scores, or that they lacked the information to do so.

The CFPB has focused on credit reporting companies because of the importance of credit reports and credit reports as a factor in determining a consumer’s eligibility for credit and the terms of credit offered. Last year the CFPB launched a credit score initiative encouraging major financial institutions that were not already doing so to provide consumers with free access to their credit scores.

CFPB Improving Consumer Credit Card Agreement Disclosure Process

On Feb. 24, the CFPB issued a proposed rule that would improve the manner in which credit card companies submit consumer credit card agreements to the CFPB. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 requires credit card issuers to post consumer credit card agreements on their websites and also submit them to the CFPB. The CFPB then publishes them in a public database on its website. The proposal would suspend for one year the requirement for card issuers to submit agreements to the CFPB on a quarterly basis. During the interim time period, the CFPB intends to streamline and automate the electronic submission system. Comments on the rule proposal are due by March 13, 2015.

CFPB Arbitration Field Hearing

The CFPB will hold a field hearing on Tuesday, March 10, in Newark, N.J., on consumer arbitration agreements. The hearing will feature remarks by CFPB Director Richard Cordray, as well as testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public. Section 1028 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the CFPB to conduct a study of consumer arbitration agreements and it is possible that the field hearing will coincide with a release of that report. The event is open to the public, but requires an RSVP.

CFPB Credit Union Advisory Council Meeting

The CFPB will hold a Credit Union Advisory Council meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. E.S.T. The meeting will include remarks by CFPB Director Richard Cordray and will cover “the role of credit unions in cultivating consumer financial education and financial capability.” The meeting agenda is available and the event requires an RSVP.