March 20, 2024

Employers and consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) should prepare to update their Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Summary of Consumer Rights. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), employers must use the updated version starting March 20, 2024.

Employers must provide this form before taking adverse action based on background checks. Furthermore, the CFPB reminded employers to include the summary with every pre-adverse action notice. The new summary of consumer rights will consist of an English and Spanish version.

The form is “A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” It represents a critical step in the consumer reporting process. The CFPB published its intent to update the form in March 2023. The final rule that updated the form became public on March 17, 2023. Furthermore, the CFPB announced that it superseded the prior version, released in October 2018.

However, after publishing the final rule on March 17, 2023, the bureau discovered a significant typo. As such, the agency quickly released an updated version the following week. As of March 24, 2023, the CFPB has corrected the issue. This new form came with a March 20, 2024, deadline. The CFPB provided this timeline to ensure the bureau had enough time to release the official version and that employers had time to convert to the new form.

These forms are nearly identical in content. For example, the versions share the same file name. As such, employers should apply caution when working with these forms to ensure they use the correct version. The CFPB offered advice to help employers quickly realize which form is the latest. For example, they can look for page 4, item 3. This section mentions air carriers. Here, it should reference the “Assistant General Counsel for Office of Aviation Consumer Protection.” In the previous version released on March 17, 2023, the bureau unintentionally omitted the word “Consumer” in the item.

This example is the fastest and easiest way to check whether employers have the latest Summary of Consumer Rights. 

This publication included several revisions. For example, the form is now available on the CFPB website in English and Spanish. It also includes non-substantive revisions. These revisions involve updating information for several federal agencies and changes for outdated business types, such as “Federal Land Banks.” Other corrections in the Summary of Consumer Rights include technical corrections.

According to the CFPB, employers must include the Summary of Consumer Rights when sending a pre-adverse action notice. A copy of the individual’s background check must also accompany this form. This notice informs the individual that the company may dismiss their application due to information found in their background check. Furthermore, the CFPB reminded CRAs that they must also provide a Summary of Consumer Rights. This form is crucial when the CRA submits information from the individual’s file. Employers and CRAs must switch to the latest Summary of Consumer Rights by March 20, 2024.

Information provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and should not constitute as legal advice. We recommend you contact your own legal counsel for any questions regarding your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.