House Set to Pass Sherman’s Disaster Protection for Workers’ Credit Act in HEROES Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives will vote on and is expected to pass Congressman Brad Sherman’s (D-CA) Disaster Protection Workers’ Credit Act, as included in the HEROES Act. This bill is House Democrats’ latest legislation to address the continued public health crisis and provide desperately needed support for struggling families and essential workers.
The Disaster Protection Workers’ Credit Act will ensure that individuals’ credit scores are not negatively impacted as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. For those who rely on steady paychecks to make rent, utility, credit card or mortgage payments, the months ahead will be difficult, and there will be missed payments. And that means lower credit scores. Lower credit scores will result in higher interest rates and reduced opportunities for homeownership. This legislation is a House companion to a bill by the same name that was introduced in the Senate by Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
"Your credit score should reflect your tendency to pay your bills during ordinary times," said Congressman Sherman. "I think if somebody is late in paying a bill during this crisis, that should not affect any score designed to reflect how well you pay in ordinary situations."
The Disaster Protection for Workers’ Credit Act will put in place an immediate suspension of all negative credit reporting. This suspension will stay in place for at least four months after the national emergency has ended. Individuals who face continued financial hardship as a result of the outbreak will also be covered by additional longer-lasting protections. The bill will also provide free, unlimited credit reports and credit scores for a year from the end of the crisis. In addition, this bill will specifically prevent any negative information associated with medical debt incurred for treatment of COVID-19 from impacting credit reports and credit scores. All these protections will go into effect for the current crisis as well as other future major disasters.