CFPB Seeking To Get Credit Bureaus & Debt Collectors Under Its Watch

Now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally has a director, Richard Cordray, it’s making some big moves to bring in debt collectors and credit bureaus under the umbrella of industries they want to supervise.

The Washington Post says the CFPB proposed the rule today, asking for the ability to “oversee the nation’s largest debt collectors, the primary credit reporting agencies such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, and other lesser-known consumer reporting agencies.”

Thus far, the CFPB hasn’t defined which businesses they’d be watching, under the large scope of nontraditional financial institutions.

Cordray made his first public speech since being named director, saying: “This oversight would help restore confidence that the federal government is standing beside the American consumer.”

He added that they’re going after these businesses because of how they’ve wiggled their ways into consumers’ lives during the recession, often to the detriment of those consumers.

Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, weighed in on the CFPB’s move to monitor these industries.

“There is a long history of debt collectors taking advantage of the elderly, students, military personnel and others – some of our most vulnerable populations. Greater oversight would help protect consumers and shine a light on these predatory practices,” she says. “For the first time, there would be protections for people who have been targeted and ripped off by these shady firms for years.”

Consumers Union has been working to educate consumers about credit bureaus and the need to review your credit report for errors.

“We hear a lot of complaints from consumers about credit bureaus dragging their feet to correct credit report mistakes. Consumers need and deserve a better system for fixing errors that can cost them in the long run. With this oversight, the CFPB can effectively bring credit bureaus and debt collectors in line,” said Banks.

Consumer agency wants oversight of debt collectors, credit bureaus [Washington Post]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.