Amidst all the talk about credit reporting and what should and should not be on a consumer’s credit report, a bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act in order to prohibit including evictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic from consumers’ credit reports.
A copy of H.R. 408, which was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen [D-Tenn.], can be accessed by clicking here.
The actual text of the bill has not yet been released, but Rep. Cohen indicated that the idea behind the bill is to prevent renters — who may have been evicted — from getting access to future housing.
More than 40 million individuals faced the threat of eviction during the pandemic. The government instituted a moratorium on evicting individuals, which was ended last year after legal challenges were mounted.
This is the third time that Rep. Cohen has introduced this measure, never having gained much traction with his proposal either at the start of the pandemic, or when he introduced the bill last year.
At the very least, Rep. Cohen could have come up with a different soundbite. The statement he made in the release announcing the bill is exactly the same as the statement he made when he introduced the bill last year.
If the new bill is anything like the old bill, the measure applies to any eviction that took place while a national emergency was declared. The bill introduced last year said, “Any information related to a covered eviction (including information related to a debt collection for a covered eviction) for which notice was given during the period beginning March 13, 2020, and ending on the date that is 30 days after the termination date of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID–19) outbreak declared by the President on March 13, 2020, under the National Emergencies Act” is to be excluded from consumers’ credit reports.