Shortly before the end of the year, two bills, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in 2019, that seek to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) were amended and reported out by the House Committee on Financial Services for consideration by the full House.
H.R. 3622, titled “Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit and Protecting Consumers Act,” was introduced by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.). This bill would amend the FCRA to, among other changes:
- Shorten the time period that most adverse credit information stays on consumer reports;
- Mandate the expedited removal of fully paid or settled debt from a consumer report;
- Establish the right for victims of financial abuse to have adverse information related to fraudulent activity removed from a consumer report;
- Restrict when medical collections may be included on consumer reports;
- Provide credit relief for student borrowers who took private education loans, when the lender engaged in an unfair, deceptive or abusive act or practice or other fraudulent activity; and
- Require consumer reporting agencies to provide free credit monitoring services to certain classes of consumers, including victims of fraud or identity theft, the unemployed or those on public welfare assistance, active duty military servicemembers, and those 65 years of age or older.
H.R. 3642, titled “Improving Credit Reporting for All Consumers Act,” was introduced by Rep. Alma S. Adams (D-N.C.). This bill proposes many changes to the FCRA, including to:
- Change the dispute process with respect to disclosure of reinvestigations, the right to appeal disputes, and record requirements for furnishers;
- Prohibit misleading and deceptive marketing related to credit scoring products and services;
- Prohibit automatic renewals for promotional consumer reporting products or services; and
- Require that certain disclosures or other communications with consumers be provided in accessible formats and in the ten most commonly spoken languages, other than English, in the United States.
Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor the progress of these bills as they make their way through Congress.