WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced new legislation that would provide much needed relief to small business owners and consumers dealing with the financial fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic. The bill would specifically provide protections to small businesses and consumers from collections efforts by creditors and debt collectors during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“At the height of this pandemic, Americans families who are struggling to make ends meet shouldn’t be harassed by debt collectors or charged huge fees, they should remain focused on looking out for their health and the wellbeing of their community,” said Senator Brown. “We must give small business owners, and hardworking Americans the support they need to rebuild and recover from this public health emergency.”
“We're fighting to make sure small businesses and individuals don't have to worry about having a utility disconnected or getting hit with huge fees and penalties by a debt collector during this global health crisis,” Senator Warren said. “Families and small businesses need as much relief as possible during this emergency.”
“In a matter of days and through no fault of their own, millions of Americans have been pushed to the financial brink. Our bill would protect working Americans and small business owners from relentless debt collectors and give them the space they need to bounce back after the COVID-19 emergency ends,” said Senator Booker.
Additionally the bill would prohibit the following:
- Harassing phone calls
- Disconnecting electricity and other utilities
- Charging higher interest or penalty fees
- Lawsuits to collect debts
- Other efforts to collect on the debt