Councilmember Proposes Bill to Prevent Consideration of Credit Scores
Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan) recently introduced a new bill that would ban owners from checking applicant’s credit scores to decide whether to rent to applicants. The legislation would also prevent owners from considering other factors such as medical debt, consumer debt judgments, and debts that have been sent to collection agencies.
Owners could still run detailed credit reports and use other information they contain, including history of bankruptcy, foreclosure, delinquencies on current debt, and how much total debt a tenant owes, to make their decision.
According to Levine, owners would still have ways to determine if a tenant can pay, including by verifying her income. And he’s pointed out that many of the credit measures he’s singling out are prone to errors.
The legislation doesn’t specify a fine, but tenants could bring a complaint under the city human rights law if they think they’re being dinged for their credit score.