On May 21, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced Senate Bill 1581 that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (DConn.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). 

A copy of the bill can be found here. 

The bill would amend the FCRA by delaying reporting of an individual’s medical debt to credit reporting agencies for one year and would require the removal of medical debt that has been paid off or settled from an individual’s credit report. 

The bill would also amend the FDCPA to require collectors, before reporting unpaid medical debts to a credit reporting agency, to send consumers a statement informing them that the debt will not be reported to a credit bureau for one year from when the statement was sent, and if the debt is paid off or settled prior to the end of the one-year period, that it will not be reported to a credit bureau. 

Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor and report on the progress of the bill.