CFPB Issues Rule Regulating Big Credit Bureaus

Today, as expected, the CFPB announced its first "larger participants" rule, giving itself the authority to supervise, or look inside the mysterious "black box" operations, of the biggest credit bureaus. This is a really big deal for consumers who've suffered through the mistakes made by these gatekeepers to financial and employment opportunity.

Today, at a field hearing in Detroit, as expected, the CFPB announced its first “larger participants” rule, giving itself the authority to supervise, or look inside the mysterious “black box” operations, of the biggest credit bureaus. This is a really big deal for consumers who’ve suffered through the mistakes made by these gatekeepers to financial and employment opportunity. Here are the prepared remarks of CFPB Director Rich Cordray and here is the CFPB press release announcing the rule. The CFPB also wants your credit bureau stories.

I have more details on the importance of this action in my blog from Friday, where I also compare our longstanding fight with the credit bureaus to the fight between the humans and the machines in The Matrix movie trilogy. There are parallels between the credit bureaus and the machines that run the Matrix!

As expected, the CFPB also announced that it would continue its inquiry into which debt collectors should be fully supervised as “larger participants” in the marketplace, rather than issuing that rule at the same time.

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Ed Mierzwinski

Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Ed oversees U.S. PIRG’s federal consumer program, helping to lead national efforts to improve consumer credit reporting laws, identity theft protections, product safety regulations and more. Ed is co-founder and continuing leader of the coalition, Americans For Financial Reform, which fought for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, including as its centerpiece the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was awarded the Consumer Federation of America's Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award in 2006, Privacy International's Brandeis Award in 2003, and numerous annual "Top Lobbyist" awards from The Hill and other outlets. Ed lives in Virginia, and on weekends he enjoys biking with friends on the many local bicycle trails.

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