Bill Introduced in Congress to Amend FCRA, FDCPA

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would amend both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and deals with how medical debts are managed.

The bill, H.R. 6470, was introduced earlier this week by Rep. Katie Porter [D-Calif.], a former consumer protection attorney who is now a member of the House Financial Services Committee. The full text of the bill is not yet available online and Rep. Porter has not yet made any comments about the proposed legislation. The bill does have 63 co-sponsors in the House — 62 of them Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Jefferson Van Drew [R-N.J.]. Among the Democrats who have co-sponsored the bill are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [D-N.Y.], Rep. Rashida Tlaib [D-Mich.], and Rep. Ilhan Omar [D-Minn.].

The current name of the bill is: “To amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to institute a 1-year waiting period before medical debt will be reported on a consumer’s credit report and to remove paid-off and settled medical debts from credit reports that have been fully paid or settled, to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to provide a timetable for verification of medical debt and to increase the efficiency of credit markets with more perfect information, and for other purposes.” That provides some context about what it will likely entail, but nothing more is available until the full text of the bill is published on Congress.gov.

The bill has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee for consideration.

Rep. Porter was part of a group that previously asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to reconsider its proposed debt collection rule. As well, she wrote Kathleen Kraninger, the director of the CFPB, asking the Bureau to investigate how the proposed debt collection rule could conflict with provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

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