This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued a report on the effect of changes in complaint responses provided by nationwide consumer reporting companies. The CFPB found that the changes resulted in fewer meaningful responses and less consumer relief: In 2021, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion together reported relief in response to less than 2% of covered complaints, down from nearly 25% of covered complaints in 2019.
Federal law requires Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to conduct a review of certain complaints sent to them by the CFPB to determine whether all of their legal obligations have been met with respect to the subject matter of the complaint and then to report their determinations and actions to the CFPB. According to the report, However, more than 50% of these complaints did not receive this review, and many consumers did not receive meaningful responses to complaints submitted through the CFPB complaint process.
The CFPB also reported that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion relied heavily on template complaint responses instead of providing meaningful and thorough responses to consumers, despite having up to 60 calendar days to respond. And in many instances, Equifax and TransUnion promised to investigate but failed to provide the outcomes of their investigations to the CFPB and instead stated that they would forward the complaints to their “dispute channel.”
The CFPB's press release, with a link to the report, is here.