Bill Introduced in House to Allow CROs to Dispute Debts Directly With Furnishers

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow credit repair organizations to file direct disputes with furnishers on behalf of consumers, and require furnishers to respond directly to credit repair organizations with the results of a dispute investigation.

Details about the bill – H.R.7919 – can be accessed by clicking here.

The bill was introduced last week by Rep. Al Lawson [D-Fla.], a member of the House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Lawson introduced a bill earlier this year that would expand the coverage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to cover small business debts, as a means of protecting those companies from harassment by third-party debt collectors.

Rep. Lawson’s latest bill related to the accounts receivable management industry would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act, specifically Section 1681s-2(a)(8), the section of the law dealing setting the parameters for how a consumer can file a dispute directly with a furnisher. The bill would replace the word consumer in that section with “consumer and credit repair organization,” providing those entities with the exact rights that consumers now have to file disputes directly with furnishers of information to credit repair organizations.

Currently, furnishers are only required to respond to direct disputes that are submitted by consumers. Some credit repair organizations have been known to submit disputes to furnishers on behalf of the consumers they are representing, but furnishers are not required to investigate or respond unless the dispute was filed by the consumer himself or herself.

The bill, which currently has no cosponsors, has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee for its consideration.

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