The House of Representatives passed H.R. 6800, the ‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act’’ or the (HEROES Act). This is the fifth emergency relief bill passed related to the virus COVID-19, four of which have become law, and this bill is not expected to follow suit.
Section 110401, Reporting of Information During Major Disasters uses legislative language introduced by Senators Schatz (D-HI) and Brown (D-OH) that was ultimately scrapped in the final version of the CARES Act. The HEROES Act suspends the reporting of accurate data including misdemeanor charges, it provides free credit reports to consumers (already underway by the CRAs), bans reporting of medical debt, prohibits the creation of new codes during the covered period (COVID-19 pandemic or a declared natural disaster) among other costly mandates.
We have argued time and time again that the suspension of accurate data will harm consumers when their lenders are unable to price risk. The subsequent consequences to removing this accurate data will inevitably make loans harder to attain, raise credit score’s thresholds for new loans and limit the issuance of loans.
The HEROES Act is what has been deemed a bargaining chip for further legislation down the road. We would have like to have had a more regular order process whether in the form of hearings or simply been able to help discuss our reasons previously outlined.
For these reasons, we will continue to express our staunch opposition to this provision and work with Congress to find the best path forward for consumers.