D.C. Act 24-317. Public Health Emergency Credit Alert Emergency Amendment Act of 2022.
To amend, on an emergency basis, Chapter 38 of Title 28 of the District of Columbia Official Code to require credit reporting agencies to accept a personal statement from a consumer indicating the consumer experienced financial hardship resulting from a public health emergency, to prohibit users of credit reports from taking into consideration adverse information in a report that was the result of the consumer's action or inaction that occurred during the public health emergency, to require credit reporting agencies to notify residents of the right to request a personal statement, and to provide for civil action for such violations.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Public Health Emergency Credit Alert Emergency Amendment Act of 2022".
Sec. 2. Chapter 38 of Title 28 of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:
(a) The table of contents is amended by adding a new subchapter designation to read as follows:
"Subchapter IV. Public Health Emergency Credit Alert.
(b) A new section 28-3871 is added to read as follows:
"Sec. 28-3871. COVID-19 Emergency credit alert.
"(a)(1) If a consumer reports in good faith that the consumer has experienced financial hardship resulting directly or indirectly from the public health emergency declared pursuant to § 7-2304.01 a credit reporting agency maintaining a file on the consumer shall accept and include in that file a personal statement furnished by the consumer indicating that the consumer has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.
"(2) A credit reporting agency shall provide that personal statement along with any credit report provided by the agency, beginning on the date the credit reporting agency receives the personal statement, unless the consumer requests that the personal statement be removed.
"(b) This section shall not apply to a federal credit union, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 1752(1), a national bank, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 25b(a)(1), or a federal savings association, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 1462(3); except, that an exception granted by this subsection shall not apply to any entity to which the savings clause at 12 U.S.C. § 25b(b)(2) applies.
"(c)(1) No user of a credit report shall consider adverse information in a report that was the result of an action or inaction by a consumer that occurred during, and was directly or indirectly the result of, a public health emergency declared pursuant to § 7-2304.01 if the credit report includes a personal statement pursuant to subsection (a) of this section."
"(d) When a District resident requests a copy of a credit report pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681j, the entity providing the credit report must notify the resident of the right to request a personal statement to accompany the credit report.
"(e) If a credit reporting agency violates this section, the affected consumer may bring a civil action consistent with 15 U.S.C. § 1681n.
"(f)(1) The Attorney General may petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for temporary or permanent injunctive relief for, and for an award of damages for property loss or harm suffered by a consumer as a consequence of, a violation of this section, or fraudulent or deceptive conduct in violation of this section that harms a District resident.
"(2) In an action under this section, the Attorney General may recover:
"(A) A civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation; and
"(B) Reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.
"(g) The following terms shall have the same meaning as defined in § 28-3861:
"(2) "Credit report;" and
"(3) "Credit reporting agency
"(h) This section shall not be construed in a manner inconsistent with (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., or any other federal law or regulation.".
Sec. 3. Applicability.
This act shall apply as of February 4, 2022.
Sec. 4. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement of the Budget Director as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).
Sec. 5. Effective date.
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), and shall remain in effect for no longer than 90 days, as provided for emergency acts of the Council of the District of Columbia in section 412(a) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 788; D.C. Official Code § 1-204.12(a)).