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.