Actualidad Colombia

Amendments to the Habeas Data Act

Draft Act 141/2017

A bill has been tabled to provide guarantees for the subjects of data stored in credit rating agencies. the bill would introduce several amendments to the general Habeas Data scheme, and recovers a previous draft bill, discussed in issue 8 of Progreso.

The changes to be made include the following:

  • Modification of the maximum duration of a negative report, reducing this from four to two years, starting from when the debt obligation has been satisfied.
  • Requirement for financial institutions to report new information about their clients, at least once a month, to ratings agencies.
  • A data subject’s credit rating may not be lowered internally because credit checks have been made by other institutions in the ratings agencies. These checks must always be free of charge and may not be used for job-related purposes.

Other matters not currently covered under law have been included, such as:

  • Immediate elimination of the negative rating in the case of expired obligations worth 20% or less of the current monthly minimum wage (around EUR43).
  • Negative rating to be written off 5 years after the obligation has gone into default or after the legal recovery process has finished.
  • Description of a special procedure for eliminating negative reports in cases of identity theft.

Finally, the bill proposes a six-month transitional period during which the negative report on subjects who have already paid their obligations or who satisfy them within six months of the bill coming into law, should have a maximum life cycle of six months after the entire debt has been paid off.