Consumer reporting agencies are mindful of the recent shutdown of the federal government and that many government employees are not being paid while the U.S. government is closed for lack of funding.
The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) is issuing guidance to companies that furnish data to consumer reporting agencies who may put an account either (a) into forbearance as a result of a consumer’s inability to make payments due to the government shutdown, or for other reasons (FAQ 45); or (b) into a deferred payment status (FAQ 44).
Reporting Credit Account Information in the Metro 2® Format for Consumers Affected by the U.S. Government Shutdown
— Reporting Forbearance Information —
Forbearance is a period of time during repayment in which a borrower is permitted to temporarily postpone making regular monthly payments. The debt is not forgiven, but regular payments are suspended until a later time. As an example, forbearance may be granted if a borrower is experiencing temporary financial difficulty. The consumer may be making reduced payments, interest-only payments or no payments.
Institutions that furnish data to consumer reporting agencies in the Metro 2® Format are reminded that there is specific guidance in FAQ 45 of the Credit Reporting Resource Guide® to assist with the reporting of accounts in forbearance.
The other option is to report accounts as deferred in the Metro 2® Format and there is specific guidance in FAQ 44 of the Credit Reporting Resource Guide® to assist with reporting.
Please note that it is the Data Furnisher’s business decision based on internal policies/procedures as to which reporting option applies and how long to report the account as deferred or in forbearance.