There are two federal government entities which primarily have oversight of the consumer reporting industry:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau implements and enforces federal consumer financial laws. One of the ways the Bureau acts is through rulemaking. This rulemaking process typically starts with a research period on topics that come from Congress, consumers, and other sources, and is further determined by public comments and input, field hearings, consumer and industry discussions, etc. Proposed rules are generally published to give industry, consumers, and other external stakeholders an opportunity to comment on their potential impact. To determine the status of a particular rulemaking, or to comment about one, visit the CFPB website.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement process begins when the Commission has a “reason to believe” that a law violation has occurred, and it typically issues a complaint setting forth its charges. If the “charged party” elects to settle the charges, it may sign a consent agreement (without admitting liability), consent to entry of a final order, and waive all right to judicial review.  If accepted, it places the order on the record for 30 days of public comment before determining whether to make the order final.