Within the past few months, some upcoming and recently passed legislation has arisen. This legislation may affect the credit data and eviction records on your renter’s background screening report.
Senate Appropriations bill includes active duty file freeze provision
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2016 includes a provision inserted by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) that would require the nationwide CRAs to provide active duty military with a “freeze alert” upon request. The alert would exclude the consumer for 2 years from any list of consumers prepared by the agency and provided to any third party to offer credit or insurance to the consumer as part of a transaction not initiated by the consumer. The amendment would further prohibit users of credit reports from establishing new credit plans or extensions of credit in the name of the consumer or issue an additional card on an existing credit account or grant any increase in an existing credit account at the request of the consumer. It would also require CRAs to refer the active duty freeze alert information to each of the other nationwide CRAs. The bill now awaits consideration before the full Senate at some point later this summer/fall. Experian is working directly with the Senate, as well as through CDIA and the ABA, to ensure the amendment does not place any unnecessary burdensome compliance requirements.
Medical Debt Reporting Delayed for Veterans
On June 29, Reps. Delaney (D-MD) and Hultgren (R-IL) introduced The Protecting Veterans Credit Act (HR 5593). The bill would provide a one year grace period for the reporting of medical debt on credit reports for services received through the Veterans Choice Program, which has had issues of delayed payments and incorrectly assigning bills to vets since its enactment in 2014. The bill has been referred to the House Financial Services Committee.
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California Bill regarding Eviction Records
AB 2819 seeks to permanently mask all unlawful detainer actions, unless the rental property owner prevails in court, or seeks a default judgment in court. This bill unfairly places the cost, burden, and responsibility for ensuring tenant defaults are made public on the backs of rental property owners.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22, 2016: Governor Brown has signed AB 2819, and the new bill will go into effect January 1, 2017.
Minor freeze bill continues to be debated
In California, AB 1580 continues to move through the legislature. The bill was passed by the Assembly on May 12 and then the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 14. The bill now awaits consideration by the full Senate. AB 1580 is generally in line with other state minor freeze laws and would allow for the guardian of a protected consumer to place a freeze, with a fee not to exceed $10.
Experian® and CIC™ are taking active efforts to either combat or support legislation that gives you the quality background screening data you need to make informed decisions. We urge you to voice your support or opposition for each of these bills and pass the news along to other landlords or real estate agents that will be affected.
Which bills are you the most concerned about? Which do you support the most?