Consumer Reporting Fairness Act Would Help Fix Inaccurate Credit Reports

 CreditReport

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate – S. 1773 – the “Consumer Reporting Fairness Act of 2015” – would require creditors to inform consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that certain debts have been discharged in bankruptcy cases, making it easier for consumers who rid themselves of credit card debt to fix inaccurate credit reports that do not reflect a clean financial slate. The text of S. 1773 is available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1773/text.

Introduced by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D – Ohio), the “Consumer Reporting Fairness Act of 2015” would also punish creditors that ignore requests from borrowers to fix inaccurate credit reports and give borrowers the power to sue for damages including costs, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages. Specifically, the bill would amend Section 525 of title 11, United States Code, by adding the following verbiage at the end:

“(d) If a creditor has provided or furnished to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a), any item of information pertaining to an account based on a debt discharged in a case under this title, the creditor shall inform the consumer reporting agency that the debt has been discharged in bankruptcy and has a zero balance.

“(e) An individual injured by any willful violation of this section—

“(1) shall recover actual damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees; and

“(2) in appropriate circumstances, may recover punitive damages.

“(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the reporting of payments on a mortgage loan, whether or not the debtor has reaffirmed that loan.”

As reported earlier by ESR News, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its initial Monthly Complaint Report in July that revealed credit reporting was one of the top three most complained about consumer financial products and services. ESR News also reported in May that that the three main credit reporting agencies agreed to pay a $6 million settlement and change business practices to benefit consumers.

More Information about Credit Reports from ESR News

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