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House Financial Services Committee Considers Bills to Protect against Predatory Debt Collection Practices

The House Financial Services Committee considered several bills intended to address and prevent predatory debt collection practices.

The bills under consideration included the following:

  • H.R. 2445, the "Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act," which would require the CFPB to amend the Ability-to-Repay / Qualified Mortgage (or "ATR/QM") regulation concerning how lenders verify the income and debt of consumers. If passed, lenders would utilize either the standards provided under (i) Appendix Q (as defined in the bill) or (ii) the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service.

  • H.R. 3490, the "Small Business Lending Fairness Act," which would amend the Truth in Lending Act (or "TILA") to limit small business owners' waivers of legal rights under certain credit or debt transactions.

  • H.R. 3948, the "Debt Collection Practices Harmonization Act," which would (i) include money owed to state or local governments in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA") definition of debt, (ii) update monetary penalties for inflation and (iii) clarify that courts can grant injunctive relief.

  • H.R. 4403, the "Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act," which would (i) expand protections under the FDCPA concerning debt owed to a federal agency and (ii) reduce the fees that debt collectors can charge.

  • H.R. 5021, the "Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act of 2019," which would amend the FDCPA to prohibit (i) debt collectors from contacting consumers electronically without the consumers consent and (ii) the CFPB from implementing rules that allow debt collectors to contact consumers through unlimited text messages or email.

  • H.R. 2398, which would increase eligibility for homeless veterans who received an "other than honorable" discharge for the Housing and Urban Development - Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (or "HUD-VASH") program.

  • H.R. 5003, the "Fair Debt Collection Practices for Servicemembers Act," which would prevent debt collectors from, among other things, communicating with any senior ranking officer regarding a servicemember's debt.

  • H.R. 5001, the "Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act," which would amend the FDCPA to make known that entities are protected when in non-judicial foreclosure proceedings and, consequently, reverse the Supreme Court Decision in Obduskey v. McCarthy and Holthus LLP.

  • H.R. 5013, the "Small Business Fair Debt Collection Protection Act," which would expand the FDCPA's protections to cover small business loans.

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