Support credit reporting protections for COVID-19 bad debts

The following protections should be implemented around credit reports to help Georgians weather this ongoing economic crisis:

  • Allow consumers impacted by COVID-19 to report to credit and other consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) that they have been affected by COVID-19 and require such CRAs to include a COVID-19 alert in their credit or other consumer report.
  • If a consumer’s credit or other consumer report includes a COVID-19 alert, or if the consumer informs the user of a consumer report that information in their report was the result of the economic impact of COVID-19, the user is required to disregard COVID-19 related information. Users would include lenders, employers, or landlords.
  • If the consumer’s credit or other consumer reports includes a COVID-19 alert, prohibit credit scoring models from treating as a negative factor any adverse events that occurred during the COVID-19 crisis.

We support the passage of legislation implementing robust credit reporting protections for debts related to COVID-19.

Current Georgia Legislation: Georgia Watch Lifetime Consumer Champion, Representative Penny Houston (R-170) introduced House Bill 656, the Credit Report Protection for Consumers Act, to provide certain protections to consumers who have experienced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. HB 656 amends Title 10 of the Georgia Code to allow consumers to request credit reporting agencies place a COVID-19 alert on their credit report if the consumer has been affected by COVID-19. The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee. We support this legislation.