CFPB Finds Name-Matching in Consumer Reporting Violates Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued on November 4 an advisory opinion affirming that consumer reporting companies (including tenant-screening companies) engaging in “name-matching” procedures violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Name-matching refers to a common tenant screening practice in which consumer reporting companies rely solely on an applicant’s name to perform a background, credit, eviction, or conviction history check. Using name-matching can result in false identity-matching, pulling information on various people with the same name as the applicant into an inaccurate consumer report that may cause the applicant to be unjustly denied access to rental housing.

The opinion reaffirms consumer reporting companies’ obligation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to use reasonable procedures to ensure reports are accurate, like using multiple identifiers such as Social Security number, date of birth, or address, in addition to an applicant’s first and last name.

Individuals who believe their landlord or housing provider may have violated this opinion can submit a complaint to the CFPB online or by calling 855-411-2372.

Read the opinion at: