The Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee are once again pushing their proposed package of bills aimed at responding to the coronavirus pandemic, except this time, they are touting the bill that would place a moratorium on debt collection activities for the duration of the pandemic.
While there appears to be nothing new in the package of 40 bills that make up H.R. 6321, a release from the Democrats on the committee yesterday exclusively promotes a bill introduced by Rep. Al Lawson [D-Fla.] that would prohibit debt collection, repossession and garnishment of wages during the pandemic.
“In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, and the economic hardship it will bring, my bill would suspend debt collections activity for 120 days to allow families and businesses an opportunity to get back on their feet,” Rep. Lawson says in the release. “This would give working Americans, small business and non-profits another tool in the recovery process.”
The bill however, does not appear to call for an outright ban on collection activities. It certainly imposes certain restrictions, such as not allowing collectors to initiate any lawsuits to try and collect on unpaid debts, but does not specifically prohibit collectors from making phone calls to individuals about unpaid debts.
The package of bills has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee for its consideration. The committee currently has no hearings or mark-up sessions scheduled on its website.
The press release did mention that Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and the rest of the committee is continuing its “efforts to ensure their critical legislation is included in the ongoing legislative response to the coronavirus crisis.”