The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), signed into law on March 27, 2020, amends the duties of a furnisher of information under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Specially, the CARES Act amends 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a)(1) to add § 1681s-2(a)(1)(F). The new subsection provides that if a creditor or other furnisher of information provides an accommodation to a consumer affected by COVID-19 in connection with consumer’s account or other credit obligation and the consumer satisfies the accommodation, the furnisher must report the consumer account as current. If the consumer was delinquent prior to the accommodation, the amendment allows the furnisher to continue to report the consumer as delinquent until the consumer brings the account current. Then, the furnisher must report the account as current. The CARES Act defines "accommodation" as "an agreement to defer one or more payments, make a partial payment, forbear any delinquent amounts, modify a loan or contract, or any other assistance or relief granted to a consumer who is affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic during the covered period." The amendment, in turn, defines the term “covered period” to mean the period beginning on January 1, 2020 and ending on the later of (i) 120 days after the enactment of the CARES Act or (ii) 120 days after the termination of the national emergency declared on March 13, 2020.