Q: This is a CARES Act question on credit bureau reporting for consumer-purpose loans. For those loans that have requested forbearance or other payment accommodations during the pandemic, we are not reporting those accounts as late (nor charging fees). However, if a loan does go past due and the borrowers have not requested a forbearance plan, our mortgage department wants to report those as late and charge late fees. Does the CARES Act question actually prohibit this?
A: Technically it does not–essentially the CARES Act addresses when the Bank has provided an accommodation due to COVID-19. In the situation you describe, the Bank hasn’t provided an accommodation, so the CARES Act requirements really don’t come into play. In other words, the Bank needs to report accurately and can’t report them as current when they are, in fact, not current. For reference, I’m including the relevant provision as well as the link to our summary on the credit reporting provisions under the CARES Act:
(ii) REPORTING.—Except as provided in clause (iii), if a furnisher makes an accommodation with respect to 1 or more payments on a credit obligation or account of a consumer, and the consumer makes the payments or is not required to make 1 or more payments pursuant to the accommodation, the furnisher shall—
“(I) report the credit obligation or account as current; or
“(II) if the credit obligation or account was delinquent before the accommodation—
“(aa) maintain the delinquent status during the period in which the accommodation is in effect; and
“(bb) if the consumer brings the credit obligation or account current during the period described in item (aa), report the credit obligation or account as current.
C/A COVID-19 Credit Reporting Summary: https://compliancealliance.com/find-a-tool/tool/covid-19-credit-reporting-summary
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