Published legislation and draft legislation - Colombia

Habeas financial data

Draft bill 053/2018, Senate

Colombia's Congress has retabled a bill to amend the current provisions for habeas financial data, as discussed in issues 8 and 13 of Progreso. The new legislative proposal, aimed principally at protecting parties whose data is stored in credit rating agencies, borrows from earlier drafts in its amendments on issues such as:

  • The requirement for financial institutions to report new information about their clients at least once a month to credit rating agencies.
  • The amendment of the maximum term of negative reports from 4 to 2 years, starting from when the debt obligation has been settled.
  • A data subject's rating may not be lowered internally because credit checks have been run by other ratings agencies. These checks will be free of charge at all times and may not be used for job-related purposes.

The new draft also incorporates the additions suggested in the previous text (Senate Bill 141/2017), on:

  • Immediate elimination of the negative rating in the case of expired obligations worth 20% or less of the current monthly minimum wage (about €45).
  • Negative rating to proscribe 5 years after the obligation has gone into default or after the legal recovery process has finished.
  • A specific procedure for eliminating negative reports in cases of identity theft is laid out (not covered under current legislation).

There are two new provisions that were not covered in earlier draft bills, relating to:

  • The term of a data subject's negative report, which should be a maximum of 18 months, from when the obligation was due.

The backing by the Colombian government of the signing of international treaties that enable foreign financial, commercial and credit ratings and measurements to be accepted in domestic dealings.

Finally, the draft regulation proposes that there should be a transitional period during which the negative report on subjects who have already repaid or who settle their obligations 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.