Bill aims to ease credit concerns during shutdown
- By Sherkiya Wedgeworth
- Apr 22, 2019
Just months after the end of the longest partial government shutdown in history, one lawmaker wants to ensure that certain finances of federal employees — and consumers alike — are protected.
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) has introduced the “Shutdown Guidance for Financial Institutions Act.” The legislation would require federal financial regulators to issue guidance that encourages banks and other financial institutions to work with consumers and businesses affected by a federal government shutdown.
It calls for “prudent efforts” to be made by lenders to modify existing loan terms or extend credit; consider that those affected by a shutdown may have limited access to credit and may face temporary hardship; and take steps to prevent adverse information from being reported to the credit bureaus.
“I heard directly from one [constituent] who was denied a mortgage due to a government shutdown she couldn’t control—and I knew there were many more stories like hers,” Wexton said in a statement, adding, “Federal workers and contractors are expected to shoulder the financial burdens incurred from a government shutdown they can’t control or predict.”
Financial regulators would have to issue a guidance alert to financial institutions within 24 hours of the start of a shutdown. A report on the effectiveness of the guidance would also be required within 90 days after the government reopens.