Kenyatta calls for suspension of negative credit reporting during COVID-19 in new bill

HARRISBURG, May 12 – In efforts to mitigate the financial blowback of the pandemic, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., today introduced legislation that would prohibit credit reporting agencies from negatively reporting any missed or late payments resulting from financial hardships that have hit so many Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

The bill, Kenyatta said, would amend the Credit Reporting Agency Act and suspend negative reporting for 90 days after the disaster declaration is lifted.

“Pennsylvanians have had their lives and livelihoods upended in the wake of this pandemic, with some families having endured the temporary lapse of a paycheck, while waiting for federal stimulus money, or for their unemployment compensation to start,” Kenyatta said. “Others, however, have relied on credit cards, or sought unplanned loans from financial institutions, or even borrowed from friends.”

Kenyatta said that delinquent payment reports stemming from Pennsylvanians facing financial difficulties stand to mar otherwise decent credit histories and could potentially prevent residents from qualifying for a loan, a mortgage, employment and housing.

“My bill would save countless families from this slippery slope of financial ruin and devastation,” he said. “As this economic fallout unfolds, we as lawmakers must do all we can to ensure that those struggling to rebuild their lives won’t be cast into a downward spiral of financial ruin as result of being unable to pay debtors.”

Kenyatta said he is currently soliciting bipartisan support for his legislation.