CUNA concerned w/ bill’s changes to debt collection

April 20, 2021

CUNA wrote to the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday with concerns over provisions in a debt collection bill prior to its markup by the committee. Language in the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act (H.R. 2547) would prohibit medical debt to be included in credit reporting.

“Restrictions on the reporting or consideration of certain debt prevents lenders from seeing borrowers’ complete debt circumstances and clouds lenders’ ability to fairly assess borrowers’ creditworthiness,” the letter reads. “An incomplete view of borrowers’ credit history reduces lender confidence in credit reports and scores, impacting pricing decisions and credit availability.”

The letter also expresses concerns with the precedent this could set which would ultimately damage credit underwriting, thus making it harder for lenders to make safe and sound credit decisions.

CUNA is also concerned with a section that would expand Fair Debt Collection Practices Act coverage of non-judicial mortgage foreclosures.

“This provision will expose mortgage servicers to increased FDCPA liability, and produce regulatory compliance challenges for entities enforcing security interests. Again, for consumers, the impact will be seen in pricing and credit availability; for financial institutions, resources will be wasted complying with and defending against judicial action associated with this provision,” the letter reads. “We would strongly urge the Committee to first conduct a thorough fact-finding into the increase in lending and servicing costs before considering this measure.”