Within the past few months, some upcoming and recently passed legislation have arisen. This legislation will affect credit data, eviction records, and business security standards..
Coalition to Improve Credit Education urges Congress to pass CROA reform
The Coalition to Improve Credit Education created a petition on change.org to encourage the House Financial Services Committee to pass legislation that would make it easier for millions of Americans to gain access to innovative credit education. The Petition outlines how a misinterpretation of current law — CROA — has created a barrier that prevents the nationwide consumer reporting agencies from providing consumers with financial education tools and services. The petition notes that existing law is preventing vulnerable consumers and small business owners from using legitimate tools to improve their credit. Sign the petition today!
Senate Appropriations bill includes active duty file freeze provision
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2016 includes a provision inserted by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) that would require the nationwide CRAs to provide active duty military with a “freeze alert” upon request. The alert would exclude the consumer for 2 years from any list of consumers prepared by the agency and provided to any third party to offer credit or insurance to the consumer as part of a transaction not initiated by the consumer. The amendment would further prohibit users of credit reports from establishing new credit plans or extensions of credit in the name of the consumer or issue an additional card on an existing credit account or grant any increase in an existing credit account at the request of the consumer. It would also require CRAs to refer the active duty freeze alert information to each of the other nationwide CRAs. The bill now awaits consideration before the full Senate at some point later this summer/fall. Experian will work directly with the Senate, as well as through CDIA and the ABA, to ensure the amendment does not place any unnecessary burdensome compliance requirements on our business.
Medical Debt Reporting Delayed for Veterans
On June 29, Reps. Delaney (D-MD) and Hultgren (R-IL) introduced The Protecting Veterans Credit Act (HR 5593). The bill would provide a one year grace period for the reporting of medical debt on credit reports for services received through the Veterans Choice Program, which has had issues of delayed payments and incorrectly assigning bills to vets since its enactment in 2014. The bill has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
**** CALIFORNIA ****
Data Breach bill set for hearing
In California, the House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing for August 1 to review AB 2828. This bill would require a business to disclose a data breach of encrypted personal information if the encryption key or security credential has, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired at any time before or after the breach occurred. Experian is working with the CalChamber to develop amendments to clarify that the loss of the key or security credential and the breach are connected. Experian continues to work with the DMA, CDIA, Internet Coalition and the National Business Coalition on E-Commerce and Privacy to defeat or favorably amend data breach bills to ensure that they are in line with other state breach laws.
California Bill regarding Eviction Records
AB 2819 seeks to permanently mask all unlawful detainer actions, unless the rental property owner prevails in court, or seeks a default judgment in court. This bill unfairly places the cost, burden, and responsibility for ensuring tenant defaults are made public on the backs of rental property owners.
As of August 17th, AB 2819 has been ‘enrolled’, and is awaiting final review and signature by the Governor of California.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22, 2016: Governor Brown has signed AB 2819, and the new bill will go into effect January 1, 2017.
Minor freeze bill continues to be debated
In California, AB 1580 continues to move through the legislature. The bill was passed by the Assembly on May 12 and then the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 14. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate. AB 1580 is generally in line with other state minor freeze laws and would allow for the guardian of a protected consumer to place a freeze, with a fee not to exceed $10.
Experian and CIC are taking active efforts to either combat or support legislation that is in the multifamily industry’s best interests, giving you the quality background screening data you need to make informed decisions. We urge you to voice your support or opposition for each of these bills and pass the news along to other industry professionals.
Which bills are you the most concerned about? Which do you support the most?
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