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Course description

Discover your financial institution's potential legal risks (& how to mitigate them!) and compliance requirements as related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

In late January, the House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Credit Reporting Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency Act of 2020 (“Comprehensive CREDIT Act”), which is legislation designed to: amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) /overhaul consumer credit reporting; revise the consumer report dispute process, ban so-called misleading and unfair consumer reporting practices; and, provide consumers with new opportunities to rebuild credit. The Comprehensive CREDIT Act consists of six bills that could have negative repercussions for your bank and consumers. Critics of the legislation state that it may lead to a weaker financial system by socializing credit scoring and, therefore, credit allocation. During this webinar, we will envision a reality where the Senate passes the Comprehensive CREDIT Act and discuss the consequences such law would have for your bank. 

FCRA litigation claims are on the rise! Based on the pro-plaintiff outcome of many high-profile FCRA law$uit$, you can expect to see even more FCRA cases in 2020.

Because the FCRA is a highly technical law, plaintiffs' attorneys take advantage of easy-to-make procedural violations by strong-arming a business into a multimillion-dollar settlement. Last year, the most popular FCRA legal claim is the employee and job applicant class action to challenge the adequacy of FCRA disclosures. As legal compliance in background checks and employment screenings increases in complexity, lawsuits for employers performing background checks in 2019 As FCRA litigation continues to rise, we will look at recent developments and familiar trends in these cases.

While the courts continue to hone their interpretation of the FCRA, Congress has also renewed its interest in the Act. In May 2018, the Legislative branch passed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, which requires national credit reporting agencies to provide a free "national security freeze" for consumers. Additionally, employers contemplating against action an applicant or employee based on information in a consumer report (i.e., refusal to hire, or termination) are required to provide that individual with a notice that includes information on the availability of a security freeze.

Not to be outdone by the courts and Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the agencies responsible for implementing, enforcing, and interpreting the FCRA – were actively involved with issues related to the Act in 2018. In December, the CFPB announced a settlement with State Farm Bank, who allegedly violated the FCRA by obtaining consumer reports without a "permissible purpose." In July, the FTC testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee that "vigorous" enforcement of the FCRA remained a top priority.

Because examiners and regulators consistently review and revise data reporting requirements, your financial institution is continually at risk for legal actions and regulatory scrutiny. Further, as new technologies emerge and credit reporting evolves, your bank must remain vigilant and up-to-date to ensure that best business practices comply with your FCRA obligations. In this webinar, we will review problematic areas of the FCRA, including "Stand-Alone" disclosure and authorization forms; adverse actions; and, other challenges related to the adequacy of FCRA disclosures. By examining recent litigation related to the FCRA and procedural violations, you will better understand your Institution's potential legal risk and reporting obligations. We will also review the CFPB's new Model Form Revision from September 2018.

In addition, this session will suggest action steps your Institution can take to improve compliance. A key component is maintaining reasonable written policies, procedures, and processes to ensure: the maximum possible accuracy of information you furnish to credit reporting agencies (CRAs); you have a "permissible purpose" for requesting a consumer's report from a CRA; and, you allow consumers to dispute and, if necessary, correct information on file.

After you attend this webinar, you will understand how to fulfill your FCRA obligations, adhere to CFPB and FTC guidelines, as well as federal law, while remaining in compliance with examiner expectations and mitigating legal risks!

Covered Topics

  • Overview of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
    • 15 U.S.C. § 1681
    • Congress & Courts
    • Regulatory Agencies & Examiner Expectations
  • 2018 FTC Guidelines 
  • 2018-2020 Congressional Action
    • Free Nationwide Credit Freeze for Consumer required under the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
    • New CFPB Model Form Revision (September 2018)
    • The Comprehensive Credit Reporting Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency Act of 2020 (“Comprehensive CREDIT Act”)(January 2020)
  • 2020 Legal Risks
    • Comprehensive CREDIT Act
    • Employee & Job Applicant Class Action Suits
      • "Stand-Alone" Disclosure & Authorization Form (the Greatest Noncompliance Risk!)
      • Adverse Actions
      • Other Challenges to the Adequacy of FCRA Disclosures
  • Other Recent Trends in FCRA Litigation
    • FCRA Procedural Violations
    • Adverse Actions
    • Challenges to the Adequacy of FCRA disclosures
  • Review of Pending Litigation & Relevant Settlements/Case Law 
    • 2017 Supreme Court Case – Spokeo v. Robins
    • CFPB's Settlement with State Farm Bank (Dec. 2018)
  • Compliance "Need-to-Know" Requirements 
  • Compliance Action Steps


Carly Souther

Carly Souther is General Counsel and COO at iTrain OnDemand (iTod), where she provides guidance on legal and compliance issues for clients in the U.S. financial industry. She formerly served as Chief of Regulation at ECigIntelligence and was the Assistant General Counsel at Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration. Carly has published on a wide range of issues in both legal and medical journals, including the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy and the University of Iowa's Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems. She is a member of the Florida Bar, and holds an M.A. from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; a J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law; and a B.A. from Mercer University.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Access Webinar

  • 2


    • Slides

    • What Information Furnishers Need to Know

    • Consumer Response Annual Report

    • Summary of Consumer Rights

    • Policy Statement Credit Reporting in a Pandemic

    • Permissible Purpose

    • Questions and Answers