Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

House Passes Bill to Remove Credit Barriers for Consumers

 

February 6, 2020

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (13th District Michigan)

On January 29, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The bill, known as The Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit & Protecting Consumers Act (H.R. 3622), contains multiple provisions to remove credit barriers facing millions of American consumers.

The aim of the bill is to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to restore the impaired credit of victims of predatory lending activities and unfair consumer reporting practices. The proposed legislation comes at a time when Americans across the country are faced with mounting medical debt, dealing with predatory lending practices and fraudulent activity, thus being prevented from accessing credit due to negative credit reporting. Obtaining credit is necessary to pay for college expenses, to secure a mortgage to become a homeowner, or to obtain a credit card. Credit reports are increasingly being used for noncredit purposes as well, such landlords determining whether to rent a home or apartment to an applicant and by employers when considering job applicants.

"The use of credit reports has expanded and is now more than ever a huge barrier to economic opportunities," says Tlaib. "Our neighbors should not have to go without necessities because they fell victim to fraudulent activity or to predatory lenders."

To help address these issues, H.R. 3622 will shorten the length of time negative information stays on a credit report from seven years to four years, and will require credit reporting agencies to remove negative information resulting from predatory loans and fraudulent activity.

In addition, the proposed legislation will prohibit debt from medically necessary procedures from being included on credit reports and will extend the time period before all other medical debt may be reported from 180 days to 365 days. "Americans should not be held back from basic needs that improve quality of life, like employment, housing, or transportation because of medical debt,' Tlaib adds.

The proposed legislation will also provide survivors of domestic and financial abuse a pathway to get negative information resulting from abuse and manipulation removed from their credit reports, enabling survivors to establish financial independence. "Survivors of financial and domestic abuse do not deserve to have debt resulting from that abuse on their credit report," says Tlaib. "This bill is about fairness, opportunity, and justice, and I am proud that it is now heading to the Senate."

Tlaib's office says the bill's passage to the U.S. Senate is the latest in Rep. Tlaib's actions to ensure that the everyday needs of her constituents are addressed today and well into the future. For more information on The Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit & Protecting Consumers Act, contact Tlaib's Downriver Neighborhood Service Center at 313-203-7540 or the Flagship Service Center in Detroit at 313-463-6220. Also visit http://www.tlaib.house.gov.

 

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