Actualidad Colombia

Progress being made towards approving several bills amending the financial habeas data law

Bill 324 2018 / Bill 053- 2018 / Bill 350, all in 2019

Bill 324/2018, to amend the 2008 Financial Habeas Data law, is currently at the Congress reading stage. It will elaborate on the constitutional right of all citizens to know about, update and rectify any information collected about them in data banks, particularly financial and credit information, together with commercial and services data.

Relief for small producers, young people and rural women

This program provides relief for small-scale producers, young people and rural women who have been put onto credit blacklists but who are currently up to date with their financial obligations, after receiving agricultural loans, through the Agricultural Financing Fund (FINAGRO). It sets the period during which negative data can be held on these fund beneficiaries at one month, starting from the date on which their back-payment installments or the loan in arrears has been paid.

Financial habeas data law

On 26 March at its second reading, the Bill to amend the law regulating financial information habeas data rights was passed, a bill that we discussed in Progreso 18.

The text finally adopted contained some amendments from the previous version, specifically those on the requirement to update the client's internal rating at the same time as the negative data is erased or the non-compliance ends. However, it should be remembered that the regulatory bill is currently still passing through Colombia's House of Representatives, so it may undergo further amendments at later debates.

The most important aspects of the regulation are summarized below:

  • The maximum time that negative information can be listed is 2 years, counting from the date the back payments are paid back or the obligation is canceled
  • The negative listing of obligations that are less than 20% of 1 MMW (EUR47) only applies if there have been two prior notifications to the borrower.
  • The client's rating will be updated internally at the same time as the negative report is erased or the non-compliance ceases.
  • The negative data will expire after 5 years, starting from when the default began or immediately after the court case comes to an end.
  • If data owners wish to check the information held about them, this procedure will always be free of charge and will not bring their credit rating down.
  • The Information Source will be required to report the negative data within 18 months from the data owner's obligation falling due.
  • If the data is reported without the data owner being notified beforehand, it must be withdrawn, and proper notification must take place.
  • Information must not be used for the purposes of taking employment-related decisions.

The regulation sets an interim period, during which:  

  • Data owners who pay their debt within 6 months from the law coming into effect will only remain on the negative register for 6 months.
  • Data about data owners whose information has remained on the register for at least 6 months since the obligation was canceled must be erased immediately.
  • Data owners who have not completed the 6 months will be reported for the time remaining until the 6 months are completed.

Furthermore, we should also remember that Bill 350/2019 is currently going through Colombia's Congress, having been recently submitted to the Senate. This bill establishes that negative information reports on non-compliance with obligations are not enforceable when the balance on the obligation is lower than 2 minimum daily wages in Colombia (about EUR 15).