H. R. 1286
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 14, 2019
Mr. Sherman (for himself, Ms. Norton, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Kilmer, and Mr. Rouda) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services
To prohibit consumer credit reporting agencies and lenders from taking adverse action against federal employees and contractors impacted by the government shutdown, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Federal Employee Credit Score Protection Act of 2019.
Prohibition on lowering the credit scores of covered individuals
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new sections:
Prohibitions relating to credit scores during a shutdown
Subject to subsection (b), a covered entity may not lower the credit score of a covered individual who fails to pay any qualified expense or obligation during the period beginning on the first day of a shutdown and ending on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the shutdown ends, if the covered individual pays the qualified expense or obligation within such period.
Requirements and Procedures
A covered entity shall, to the extent practicable, identify covered individuals eligible under subsection (a).
Assistance from the Office of Personnel Management
The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall, to the extent practicable, assist covered entities in identifying covered individuals.
Notification by individuals
Not later than 1 year after the date that is 60 days after the date on which a shutdown ends, a covered individual may notify a covered entity that the covered entity may not lower the credit score of the covered individual pursuant to subsection (a), and if such credit score has been lowered, such covered individual may seek a reversal of that action.
Notification by entities
A covered entity shall notify the public—
of the requirement described under subsection (a); and
how a covered individual may—
inform the entity of the eligibility of the individual under subsection (a); and
submit such reasonable materials deemed necessary to confirm such eligibility.
Duties of consumer reporting agencies
A consumer reporting agency that receives a credible notification that a covered individual is eligible under subsection (a) shall—
notify covered entities of the eligibility of such covered individual;
to the extent practicable, inform other consumer reporting agencies of the eligibility of such covered individual; and
in the event the credit score of a covered individual was lowered prior to receipt of such credible notification, take all necessary measures to reverse that action and restore the credit score of the covered individual such that it reflects the credit score such covered individual would have received absent the consideration of the nonpayment of a qualified expense or obligation.
Upon petition by a covered individual, the Bureau may—
require a covered entity to make appropriate adjustments to the credit score of the covered individual; and
issue a fine or take another enforcement action, as determined by the Bureau.
In this section:
The term covered entity means an entity that develops a credit score.
The term covered individual means—
an employee of the Federal Government who is furloughed or excepted from furlough during the shutdown;
a Federal contractor who, during any lapse in Federal appropriations, is not receiving pay by reason of such lapse; and
a spouse of an individual described under subparagraph (A) or (B).
The term credit score has the meaning given in section 609(f)(2).
Qualified expense or obligation
The term qualified expense or obligation means any payment, including a partial payment, of a covered individual relating to a mortgage loan, rent, credit cards, medical expenses, automobile purchases or leases, student loans, insurance premiums, utilities, and other recurring payments or expenses ordinarily incurred by such covered individual (as determined by the Bureau).
The term shutdown means the period of a lapse in appropriations beginning on or after December 22, 2018, and that ends before October 1, 2019.
Prohibition on adverse lending determinations for covered individuals
A creditor (as defined in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act) may not knowingly deny credit, or knowingly provide credit on less favorable terms than would otherwise be provided, to a covered individual who fails to pay any qualified expense or obligation during the period beginning on the first day of a shutdown and ending on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the shutdown ends, if the covered individual pays the qualified expense or obligation within such period.
The Bureau may issue a fine or take another enforcement action, as determined by the Bureau, against a creditor that violates subsection (a) if the Bureau determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the fact that the covered individual failed to pay a qualified expense while not receiving pay by reason of a lapse in Federal appropriations, or during the 60-day period immediately following such lapse in Federal appropriations, was a substantial factor in the action taken by the creditor that violated subsection (a).
The terms covered individual, qualified expense or obligation, and shutdown have the meanings given those terms, respectively, in section 631.
Table of contents amendment
The table of contents of the Fair Credit Reporting Act is amended by adding at the end the following new items:
630. Prohibitions relating to credit scores during a shutdown.
631. Prohibition on adverse lending determinations for covered individuals.