On November 12, 2020, the Bureau issued a consent order against Afni, Inc. (Afni), a non-bank third-party debt collector based in Illinois that specializes in collecting telecommunications debt. In connection with its collection activities, Afni furnishes credit reporting information to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) about the consumers and the debts that are the subject of its business. The Bureau found that Afni violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its implementing rule, Regulation V, by furnishing information to CRAs that it knew or had reasonable cause to believe was inaccurate; failing to report to CRAs an appropriate date of first delinquency on certain accounts; failing to conduct reasonable investigations of disputes made by consumers both to Afni and to CRAs about furnished information or failing to conduct investigations of disputes made to Afni in a timely manner; failing to send required notices to consumers about the results of such investigations; and failing to establish, implement, and update its policies and procedures regarding its furnishing of consumer information to CRAs. The Bureau also determined, based on these violations of the FCRA and Regulation V, that Afni violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The consent order requires Afni to take certain steps to improve and ensure the accuracy of its furnishing and its policies and procedures relating to credit reporting and dispute investigation. It also imposes a $500,000 civil money penalty.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces Settlement with Debt Collector for Credit Reporting Violation