Code of the District of Columbia

§ 28–3862.01. COVID-19 Emergency credit alert.

(a) If a consumer demonstrates evidence of financial hardship resulting directly or indirectly from the cause of the public health emergency during the period of time for which the Mayor has declared a public health emergency pursuant to [§ 7-2304.01], and for 60 days following ("covered time period"), a consumer reporting agency that maintains a file on the consumer shall include an alert ("COVID-19 alert") in that file indicating that the consumer has been financially impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and shall provide that alert along with or accompanying any consumer report or credit score provided by the agency, beginning on the date of such request, unless the consumer requests that such COVID-19 alert be removed.

(b) No user of a consumer report shall use or take into consideration any adverse information in a report that was the result of an action or inaction by a consumer that occurred during the covered time period if there is a COVID-19 alert included along with or accompanying the consumer's report or provided with the consumer's credit score pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c) This section shall not apply to a federal credit union, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 1752(1), a national bank, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 25b(a)(1)), or a federal savings association, as defined by 12 U.S.C. § 1462(3)); except, that this non-applicability exception shall not apply to any entity to which the savings clause at 12 U.S.C. § 25b(b)(2)) applies.

(d) When a District resident requests a copy of a credit report pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681j, the entity providing the credit report must notify the resident of his or her right to request a COVID-19 alert to accompany the credit report.

(e)(1) If any person or entity violates this section, the affected consumer may bring a civil action for:

(A) Injunctive relief to prevent or restrain further violation of this section;

(B) Actual damages; and

(C) Reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.

(2) If a credit reporting agency willfully violates this section, the affected consumer may obtain punitive damages, except in the case of negligence as provided by 15 U.S.C. § 1681h(e)).

(f)(1) The Attorney General may petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for temporary or permanent injunctive relief for, and for an award of restitution for property lost or damages suffered by a consumer as a consequence of, a violation of this section, or fraudulent or deceptive conduct in violation of this section that harms a District resident.

(2) In an action under this section, the Attorney General may recover:

(A) A civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 for each violation; and

(B) Reasonable attorney's fees and costs of the action.

(g) The following terms shall have the same meaning as defined in § 28-3861:

(1) "Consumer;"

(2) "Credit report;" and

(3) "Credit reporting agency.

(h) This section shall not be construed in a manner inconsistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S. C. § 1681 et seq., or any other federal law or regulation.

(May 13, 2020, D.C. Act 23-317, Chapter 38(a), 0 DCR 0.)