Published: November 2023

Another call for agencies to protect disaster victims from negative credit reporting

Groups again urged government agencies to help protect the credit reports and scores of consumers impacted by natural disasters, who may unavoidably miss bill payments in the aftermath of the devastation.

Following the Maui wildfires and Hurricane Idalia, advocacy organizations again urged government agencies (CFPB, OCC, FHFA, FHA, FDIC, NCUA, VA, USDA, and FRB) to help protect the credit reports and scores of consumers impacted by natural disasters. As in their October 2022 letter, the signers, including Consumer Action, asked the agencies to encourage the lenders that they regulate or oversee to refrain from reporting negative information for disaster victims to the nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs)—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. At a minimum, wrote the organizations, lenders should be encouraged to follow the credit reporting provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Specifically, if a consumer is able to obtain an accommodation from a lender (a forbearance, a payment deferral, a partial payment agreement, or a loan modification), then the lender should report the same status for the account as it stood prior to the accommodation (assuming the consumer is in compliance with the terms of the accommodation). Consumers who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, most of their possessions, or, worse yet, family members and loved ones, should not also need to deal with damage to their credit reports and scores because of bills that they unavoidably missed, through no fault of their own. 

Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center

More Information

Read the letter here.

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