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Following Equifax Breach, Ranking Member Waters Reintroduces Comprehensive Credit Reporting Reform Legislation

Following the announcement that 143 million American consumers were impacted by the Equifax security breach, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, reintroduced the Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act, which contains landmark reforms to improve the nation’s credit reporting system. Credit reporting agencies compile and maintain files for about 200 million Americans and the Equifax data breach proves that more needs to be done to repair the nation’s credit reporting system.

“Consumers should not have to suffer the consequences for a credit reporting system that is so clearly broken,” said Ranking Member Waters. “In most cases, consumers would have the option of ending ties with a company, like Equifax, that is unable to keep their identifiable information confidential. Unfortunately, consumers currently don’t have that option. Since consumers can’t opt out of dealing with this broken industry, it’s long past time for Congress to enact comprehensive reforms. My bill is a complete overhaul of our nation’s credit reporting system, taking the burden off of the consumer while holding credit reporting agencies accountable.”

The Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 2017 comes on the heels of a security breach at one of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, which put millions of Americans at risk for fraud and inaccuracies on their credit reports. The bill will bring accountability to the credit reporting industry by enhancing consumer and creditor confidence in the integrity of information within consumer credit reports and restoring fairness in the system. Specifically, the bill will:

  • Fix the dispute process so that credit bureaus, not consumers, bear the burden to prove the accuracy and completeness of credit information;
  • Restore the impaired credit of victims of predatory activities and unfair practices;
  • Restrict the use of credit information for employment;
  • Rehabilitate the credit standing of struggling private education loan borrowers;
  • Limit the amount of time negative information can stay on a credit report;
  • Provide free and timely access to credit freezes for fraud victims and vulnerable consumers;
  • Provide free credit monitoring and identity theft services to vulnerable consumers

The legislation is supported by Americans for Financial Reform, National Consumer Law Center, AFL-CIO, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Demos, Greenlining Institute, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, NAACP, National Association of Consumer Advocates, National Association of Realtors, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), National Consumers League, National Council of La Raza, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League, New Economy Project, National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), U.S. PIRG, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., Public Citizen, Public Justice Center, Public Law Center, SW Center for Economic Integrity, and Woodstock Institute.

For more details, view the legislation, a fact sheet, and an extended summary.


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