Let CFPA oversee credit reporters, advocacy group says

Consumer Watchdog, a consumer advocacy group, recently urged lawmakers to let the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) oversee credit reporting companies and credit score providers.

Recent amendments proposed by House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank would exempt credit reporters and credit score providers from CFPA oversight. Many of these companies, Consumer Watchdog said, collect consumer financial data used to change the terms and cost of consumer credit.

“The president pledged that a new consumer regulator will rein in unfair credit card rate hikes and penalties. But companies that collect, analyze and sell our private financial information are off the hook in the current bill,” said Carmen Balber, Consumer Watchdog’s Washington director.

The largest three credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, gave $1.65 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress during the 2002 election cycle, Consumer Watchdog said, citing figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.

President Obama first proposed the CFPA to Congress in June in order to enforce this spring’s credit card bill and combat alleged abuses in the mortgage market.