As reported in a recent Hunton Andrews Kurth client alert, Mitigating FCRA Risks in the COVID-19 World (Oct. 23, 2020), consumer litigation claims related to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) doubled in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a slight decrease in FCRA filings due to court closures and other COVID-19 restrictions, claims will likely resume their previous upward trajectory. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has already seen an uptick in consumer complaints, many of which mention COVID-19 specific keywords.
Given the anticipated rise in FCRA complaints, the alert highlights the need for financial institutions and financial services companies to develop FCRA-compliant policies and procedures, including training on those policies and procedures, to mitigate the risk of FCRA-related enforcement actions and litigation claims, particularly in light of the regulatory changes relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another important risk mitigation tool to consider is insurance, which can offer protection when even the most robust preventative measures fail to prevent an FCRA claim. Coverage for FCRA-related claims—often from directors’ and officers’ (D&O) or errors and omissions (E&O) policies—might be broader than one would initially expect. Policies may cover defense costs involving legal fees, as well as indemnification for damages.
Reprinted courtesy of Sergio F. Oehninger, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Geoffrey B. Fehling, Hunton Andrews Kurth and Matt Revis, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Mr. Oehninger may be contacted at soehninger@HuntonAK.com
Mr. Fehling may be contacted at gfehling@HuntonAK.com