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New House and Senate Bills Introduced to Amend FCRA in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

By Nicole Su

On March 17, 2020, a bill was introduced in the United States Senate to amend the Fair Credit Report Act to prevent negative credit reporting during the COVID-19 crisis. Subsequently, on March 23, 2020, a similar bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives.  Both bills are entitled “The Disaster Protection for Workers’ Credit Act.”

The Senate and House Bills seek to place a four-month moratorium on all negative credit reporting. Individuals who face continued financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis may be protected for a longer period beyond the four-months.  The Senate and House Bills also seeks to give consumers free and unlimited access to credit reports and credit scores for a year after the end of the crisis. Additionally, the House Bill will prevent negative information associated with medical debt incurred for treatment of COVID-19 from impacting consumers’ credit reports and credit scores. The House Bill is meant not only for the current COVID-19 crisis, but also for any future major disasters.

The Senate Bill, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), is currently before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. As of the posting of this article, a text of the bill has not yet been made public.

The House Bill, introduced by Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), has been referred to the House Committee On Financial Services.  As of the posting of this article, a text of the bill has not yet been made public.

We will keep our eye on these bills and provide any additional updates as they become available.

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