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House Subcommittee Assesses Consumer Credit Reporting


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Hearing focuses on legislation and reforms to consumer protections by credit bureaus. ACA International is continuing advocacy on credit reporting legislation impacting the ARM industry.

6/7/2021 12:00

The House Financial Services Committee and its subcommittees are revisiting credit reporting in the 117th Congress, including legislation that could impact information on consumers’ credit reports.

On May 26, the House Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, held a virtual hearing, “Consumer Credit Reporting: Assessing Accuracy and Compliance,” with testimony from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and the National Consumer Law Center. Rebecca Kuehn, partner at Hudson Cook LLP, testified on behalf of the Consumer Data Industry Association.

“ACA’s members take their compliance obligations, including those under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, very seriously. After exhausting and considering other options, credit reporting can, in certain instances, be the best way to alert consumers of their outstanding debts,” said CEO Mark Neeb in a letter to House Financial Services Committee leadership in advance of the hearing. “Additionally, consumers could be at risk for obtaining unaffordable credit and services because lenders have an inaccurate credit report and therefore do not understand the consumer’s financial situation.”

Takeaways from the hearing include:

  • TransUnion and Experian, in their separate testimony, talked about how they provide free credit monitoring, identity protection tools and credit reports, and expanded those services during the pandemic.
  • Subcommittee Republicans focused on the inherent credit cycle benefits of risk-based pricing to accurately assess risk, calling against the formation of uniform pricing that would result in higher credit costs and decreased credit availability.
  • During member questioning with witnesses, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., focused on the use of credit scoring in auto insurance underwriting and her legislation to stop reporting medically necessary debt.

Language from Tlaib’s bill, H.R. 2537, which amends the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to provide a timetable for the collection of medical debt by debt collectors and amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit consumer reporting agencies from issuing consumer reports containing information about debts related to medically necessary procedures, was included in The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act, H.R. 2547, which passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives in May.

H.R. 2547 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and could be considered by sometime this summer. ACA’s grassroots campaign on H.R. 2547 before the House vote resulted in more than 600 emails sent to members of Congress, and now it’s time to build on this success.

To help with these efforts, we encourage you to submit this letter to your member of Congress.

House Financial Services Committee Hearing Schedule

The full House Financial Services Committee recently announced a second hearing on credit reporting.

The committee will focus on credit reporting in a June 29 hearing titled, “A Biased, Broken System: Examining Proposals to Overhaul Credit Reporting to Achieve Equity.”

The committee will host a markup on June 23, according to a news release on the hearing schedule.

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