House Financial Services Committee Passes Eight Bills, Covering Debt Collection, Small Business Lending, and Veterans’ Housing
Last week, the House Financial Services Committee passed eight bills out of the full committee, six of which related to debt collectors while the other two concerned small business loans and veterans housing. According to a press release issued by Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the legislation would “help veterans experiencing homelessness, protect servicemembers from harassment by debt collectors, and prevent predatory debt collection practices to help consumers and small businesses.”
“As Members of Congress, we have a responsibility to ensure that our veterans receive the services and care that they need after their service to our nation ends,” Waters said in her opening statement at the November 13 markup.
The legislation includes H.R. 5001, a bill clarifying that non-judicial foreclosure proceedings are covered by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). H.R. 2398 expands eligibility for the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) for homeless veterans with an “other than honorable” discharge.
Also included are bills that restrict debt collectors from emailing and texting consumers and from threatening the security and rank of servicemen, both of which are amendments to the FDCPA. Debt buyers would also now be subject to the law, due to a legislative clarification.
Two other bills would also restrict “confessions of judgment” as an amendment to the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) in small business loans and extend the FDCPA’s covering of these loans. Lastly, the committee marked up another bill requiring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to make it easier for those with non-traditional sources of income to receive homeowner loans.