June 23, 2022

CFPB: New Final Rule Issued with Credit Reporting Protections to Aid Survivors of Human Trafficking

CFPB Helps Survivors Mitigate the Financial Consequences of Human Trafficking

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule to help survivors avoid some of the financial consequences of human trafficking. The CFPB has established, among other things, a method for survivors of trafficking to submit documentation to credit reporting companies that identifies any adverse item of information that resulted from human trafficking. The rule prohibits credit reporting companies from providing a report containing the adverse items of information.

“Too many survivors of human trafficking find their financial lives in tatters with few places to turn to for help,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The new rule will help clear credit reporting roadblocks that survivors face as they rebuild their lives.”

Survivors often find that their credit reports reflect financial obligations and negative information that were the result of the financial abuse they endured, while being trafficked. Survivors and support organizations report that traffickers employ financial abuse as both a source of income and a method of control. After destroying their victims’ credit history and racking up charges in their names, traffickers know their victims will be unable to find affordable housing, become employed, or access credit on fair terms for purchases such as buying a car.

In December 2021, President Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, which included the Debt Bondage Repair Act. The Debt Bondage Repair Act prohibits credit reporting companies from providing credit reports that contain any negative item of information about a survivor of trafficking that resulted from the trafficking. Today’s final rule updates the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s implementing regulation to ensure it meets the Debt Bondage Repair Act’s credit reporting requirements and that survivors’ credit information is reported fairly.

The CFPB’s final rule helps survivors reclaim control of their financial lives. Among other things, the final rule:

The final rule is effective July 25, 2022. This meets Congress’s requirement that the CFPB issue implementing regulations within 180 days of the enactment of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

Read the final rule, Prohibition on Inclusion of Adverse Information in Consumer Reporting in Cases of Human Trafficking (Regulation V).

Learn more about Credit Reporting Requirements.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline  at 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711) or text 233733.

Consumers can submit credit reporting complaints, or complaints about other financial products or services, by visiting the CFPB’s website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).

This post was originally published here.