The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services considered legislation that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act for the purpose of mitigating biases in credit reporting.

In a hearing entitled "A Biased, Broken System: Examining Proposals to Overhaul Credit Reporting to Achieve Equity," the Committee considered:

  • H.R. 4120, the "Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act," which would, among other things, improve the dispute process, expand free access to credit scores, establish a credit rehabilitation process for private student loan borrowers, provide credit restoration for victims of predatory mortgage lending, and strengthen federal oversight of credit scoring model development;
  • H. R. ____, the "Protecting Your Credit Score Act," which would establish an online consumer portal landing page for access to certain credit information and provide consumers the ability to initiate disputes about report accuracy and to place or remove a security freeze; and
  • H.R. ____, the "National Credit Reporting Agency Act," which would establish a federal credit reporting registry within the CFPB, providing consumers with a public alternative to private credit bureaus.

The Committee heard testimony from, among others:

  • Mr. Syed Ejaz, Financial Policy Analyst at Consumer Reports, who recommended (i) strengthening accuracy requirements for credit reports, (ii) allowing consumers to monitor their credit report without cost and (iii) redesigning the identity verification system;
  • Mr. Jeremie Greer, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Liberation in a Generation, who expressed support for the Protecting Your Credit Score Act and the Comprehensive CREDIT Act which, he argued, would reduce the gatekeeper powers of credit reporting agencies by limiting credit checks in hiring and employment processes; and
  • Ms. Chi Chi Wu, Staff Attorney at National Consumer Law Center, who testified that, "at a minimum," consumers should be able to choose a public credit registry or a private credit bureau, and short of this option, Congress should (i) pass bills similar to the Comprehensive CREDIT Act and the Protect Your Credit Score Act and (ii) establish a moratorium on negative credit and consumer reporting for events that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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