A bill in the Virginia House of Delegates would require commercial credit reporting agencies to identify their sources of “negative information” when they provided a copy of a report to the subject.  This means that Virginia buyers would know which of their suppliers shared any of their negative payment history with a commercial credit reporting agency.

The bill, HB 2198, would also require agencies to provide Virginia businesses access to a free annual credit report and would allow the subject of a commercial report to dispute parts of the report within thirty days of receiving theirs, if the company in question believed that their report contained inaccuracies.  After receiving the subject’s complaint, the commercial credit reporting agency would then have 30 days to either delete the statement, or include a note in the report that signals that the subject of the report considers the particular statement inaccurate.

The bill originated from a series of meetings held between Virginia Delegates and the Virginia business community, wherein business owners complained about a lack of access to credit.  Many companies raised their concerns that negative information in their commercial credit reports was making it harder for them to acquire bank and trade financing, so Virginia delegates responded with HB 2198.

Currently the bill has been referred to subcommittee #2 of the Virginia House of Delegates Committee on Commerce and Labor. It has four patrons, all members of the Republican majority in the House of Delegates: Chief Patron Michael Watson (James City/York Counties), Chief Co-Patron Christopher Head (Botetourt/Roanoke Counties), David Ramadan (Loudon/Prince William Counties) and Michael Webert (Culpeper/Fauquier/Rappahannock/Warren Counties).

We recommend credit management to stay tuned to NACM’s blog and NACM’s eNews for updates on this legislation.   If this bill passes the sharing of trade information will diminish and transparency will be impaired.

Courtesy of National Association of Credit Management – Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer