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Federal Regulatory Recap: What’s Been Happening Lately?

compliance and regulations written on two bindersRead our recap of some of the CFPB’s recent enforcement actions and reports, as well as an update to the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry Data Book.

12/02/2022 3:10 P.M.

3.5 minute read

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to issue enforcement actions, research reports and bulletins on a regular basis.

Here are a few of the bureau’s updates to know about this week, as well as an update on the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry:

Latest CFPB Guidance Addresses Dispute Investigations

A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau circular, which is now in the Federal Register, focuses on dispute investigation requirements for credit reporting agencies and data furnishers.

The CFPB stated, based on its supervisory examinations, “that consumer reporting companies and some furnishers have failed to conduct reasonable investigations of consumer disputes and to spend the time necessary to get to the bottom of inaccuracies. These failures can affect, among other things, people’s eligibility for loans and interest rates, for insurance, and for rental housing and employment.”

The CFPB’s circulars are a new enforcement strategy for the bureau. The reports are issued to the broad set of government agencies responsible for enforcing federal consumer financial law.

As the CFPB looks at these and other Fair Credit Reporting Act issues, they can help legitimate furnishers by taking action against credit repair organizations that behave in unscrupulous ways, flooding legitimate processes with fraudulent and/or irrelevant disputes, which places a real burden on furnishers to have strong systems to tell the difference. For Americans to realize the full benefits of a credit-based economy, organizations in each part of the ecosystem need to have strong compliance management systems—to adhere to the relevant laws—and regulators need to keep bad actors out of the system.

CFPB Publishes New Bulletin Analyzing Rise in Crypto-Asset Complaints

The CFPB recently released a new complaint bulletin that highlights complaints it received related to crypto-assets. The most frequent complaints from customers were about fraud, theft, account hacks and scams.

Additionally, consumers encountered difficulties when carrying out transactions and moving assets across exchanges. Due to platform failures, difficulties with identity verification, security holds, or platform-related technical issues, many customers experienced trouble accessing the money in their accounts. One recurring topic in complaints about cryptocurrencies was poor customer service.

There are a variety of ways for scammers to obscure the transfer of crypto-assets to other accounts, according to the bulletin. Regulators and law enforcement may need to spend more time tracing cryptocurrency assets that have been stolen by fraudsters as a result.

The bulletin identified a number of risk factors, and encouraged consumers to be aware of common scams, report suspicious FDIC insurance claims if they think a website may be using a fake name or logo, and submit a claim with the CFPB if they are having any issues related to consumer financial products or cryptocurrencies.

FTC Releases Updated Do Not Call Registry Data Book

The Federal Trade Commission recently released the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2022. The DNC Registry allows consumers to add their phone number and choose not to receive telemarketing calls.

In the last fiscal year (FY), over 2.5 million people signed up with the DNC Registry, bringing the total to more than 246 million phone numbers.

According to the Data Book, complaints about imposter calls again topped the list, with almost 287,000 received during the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2022, including both live calls and robocalls. In such calls, imposters falsely posed as government representatives, such as the Social Security Administration or the IRS, legitimate business entities, or as people affiliated with them.

At the end of FY 2022, the DNC Registry contained 246.8 million actively registered phone numbers, up from 244.3 million at the end of FY 2021. The number of consumer complaints decreased for all topics except for calls about medical and prescription issues, which saw an increase over FY 2021 of more than 1,000 complaints, according to the report.

In FY 2022, the commission received more than 1.8 million complaints about robocalls, down from 3.4 million in FY 2021. For every month in the fiscal year, robocalls—defined under FTC regulations as calls delivering a prerecorded message—made up the majority of consumer complaints about DNC violations, with the most—200,000—coming in January of this year.

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