Bipartisan Bill Would Ensure Trafficking & Debt Bondage Does Not Permanently Damage Victims’ Finances
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) released the following statement after his Debt Bondage Repair Act, which protects victims of human trafficking as they regain their financial freedom and rebuild their lives, was signed into law:
“Financial exploitation and forcing victims to work to pay off ‘debts’ are revolting facets of human trafficking,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation will ensure that debt accrued while being trafficked cannot continue to damage victims’ financial reputation long after the abuse has ended.”
The Debt Bondage Repair Act protects victims of human trafficking as they regain their financial freedom after enduring the horrors of abuse, including financial exploitation. It ensures that a consumer reporting agency (CRA) will not furnish a consumer report containing adverse information about a consumer that resulted from a severe form of human trafficking or debt bondage.
In a situation where the Debt Bondage Repair Act applies, the agency or court will determine which debts are the result of trafficking or debt bondage to ensure a consumer is not provided a clean slate for unrelated debts. To ensure that only those who are victims can utilize the benefits of this legislation, determinations can only be made by federal, state, or tribal government entities or a court of competent jurisdiction.
This legislation is supported by numerous trafficking advocacy groups, including Shared Hope International, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and Polaris.