Tomorrow, April 20, the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to mark-up a series of bills that include a bill dealing with debt collection and two bills dealing with the diversity and inclusion practices of banks and other federally-regulated entities.

Debt collection.  H.R. 2547, the “Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act,” includes the following provisions:

  • Title I, the “Small Business Lending Fairness Act,” would amend the Truth in Lending Act to prohibit the use of a confession of judgment, warrant of attorney, “or other waiver of the right to notice and the opportunity to be heard in the event of suit or process thereon,” in both consumer and business purpose credit transactions, “including any advance of funds or sale or assignment of future income or receivables that may or may not be credit.”
  • Title II, the “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for Servicemembers Act,” would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to prohibit debt collectors from threatening a servicemember with a reduction in rank, revocation of a security clearance, or prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  • Title III, the “Private Loan Disability Discharge Act of 2021,” would amend the TILA to require the discharge of private student loans in the event of a student borrower’s death or total and permanent disability.
  • Title IV, the “Consumer Protection for Medical Debt Collections Act,” would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require a person furnishing information about medical debt to a consumer reporting agency to provide a notice to the consumer before furnishing such information that includes certain specified information, including that information about medical debt cannot be furnished sooner than one year after the notice is sent and that information about a debt arising from a medically necessary procedure may never be furnished to a consumer reporting agency.  It would also amend the FDCPA to provide that it is an unfair practice for a debt collector to attempt to collect a medical debt sooner than 2 years after the date the first payment on such debt is due.
  • Title V, the “Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act of 2021,” would amend the FDCPA to prohibit a debt collector from contacting a consumer by email or text message without a consumer’s consent to be contacted by that method.  (Such consent is not expressly required under the CFPB’s final debt collection rule.)
  • Title VI, the “Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act of 2021,” would amend the FDCPA to expand the obligations included in the definition of “debt” and the activities that fall within the definition of “debt collector.”

Diversity and Inclusion.  H.R. 2123, the “Diversity and Inclusion Data Accountability and Transparency Act,” would amend the Dodd-Frank Act to give the Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at each federal agency required by Dodd-Frank to have an OMWI the authority to require regulated entities with 100 or more employees “to provide such information as may be required to carry out the duties of the Director.” It is possible an OMWI Director could use this authority to require a regulated entity to conduct an annual “self-assessment” of its D&I policies and practices and submit the assessment to the Director.  Currently, regulated entities perform and submit such assessments on a voluntary basis.  H.R. 2516, the “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Banking Act of 2021,” would amend the Dodd-Frank Act to require the Fed, FDIC, OCC, and NCUA, when assigning a rating to a depository institution under the Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System, to include a diversity and inclusion component that looks at certain factors, including whether the institution has policies in place to encourage diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices, provides training to its employees on diversity and inclusion, and has designated a Diversity and Inclusion Officer.