An Alabama man was awarded over $3 million after a federal jury determined a credit reporting agency falsely reported a debt on his credit report. Last month, a jury in the Northern District of Alabama issued a $3,005,000 verdict for Shaun Younger. Younger had sued Experian Information Solutions, Inc. pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, after her saw Experian was continuing to report a debt he didn't owe. After Younger noticed the error, he sent a letter to Experian, along with proof he did not owe the debt, and asked the company to investigate his claim. Experian refused to investigate the dispute, according to a press release from Younger's attorneys, and told Younger they believed his dispute letter was suspicious. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires a credit reporting agency to investigate a dispute after it is notified by the consumer. Younger's dispute letter was sent to a post office box in Texas, the press release stated, and was forwarded to Experian's mail room. … [Read more...] about Alabama man awarded multi-million-dollar verdict against credit reporting agency
Consumer credit reporting agencies act
(StatePoint) Spring is in the air and it’s time for the annual ritual of deep cleaning, dusting, mopping, organizing -- and checking your credit report.Experts recommend checking your credit report at each of the national credit reporting agencies (CRAs) several times annually. Why?When you apply for a new credit card or car loan, for example, a lender pulls a credit report from one or all of the CRAs to check your credit history and determine if you’re a good candidate for a loan. Lenders want to extend loans or credit to people with strong credit reports, so it’s important that the information in your report is accurate. What to Look ForBesides verifying the accuracy of your personal information, check that the financial accounts listed belong to you. Also, make sure that paid-off debt shows as paid and that closed accounts are not listed as open. Other information to look for and possibly correct includes:• A bankruptcy older than 10 years.• A late … [Read more...] about Don’t Forget to Spring-Clean Your Credit Report
Q. Can I get rid of hard inquiries on my credit report? A. Yes, you can get rid of hard inquiries on your credit report! Before we go there, let's go over what a hard inquiry is and what it means. Whenever organizations pull your credit report, they are "making an inquiry" and those inquiries are either hard or soft, said Cynthia Aiken, a certified financial planner with RegentAtlantic in Morristown. She said hard inquiries are those when you give a lender permission to pull your credit report. "Most often, this occurs when you are applying for a loan," Aiken said. "Other hard inquiries may be due to requests relating to a new insurance policy, job application or cell phone." When your existing creditors check your credit or when a business checks your report with the intention of selling you services or products, these are soft inquiries. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score, Aiken said, but hard inquiries can ding your score by five to 10 points for 12 months, and they … [Read more...] about Can I get rid of hard inquiries on my credit report?
Job-hunters are increasingly being asked to agree to allow potential employers to view their personal credit information, a development that Sen. Elizabeth Warren says is unfairly keeping people out of the job market who've had financial setbacks or have reports that contain inaccurate information.The Massachusetts Democrat today introduced The Equal Opportunity for All Act in Congress, which would outlaw such credit checks in many cases except in areas such as national security. Warren told reporters in a conference call sponsored by the Demos Foundation, a liberal think-tank, that the legislation was long overdue. "This is about basic fairness," said the first-term legislator, adding that many people have had their credit records tarnished during the recent economic downturn. "There is little to no evidence of any correlation between job performance and a credit score."The bill is co-sponsored by by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D.-Vt., Edward Markey, D-Mass., Sherrod Brown, D.-Ohio, Jeanne … [Read more...] about Should employers be barred from using credit reports in hiring?
Last Updated Dec 9, 2009 5:52 PM EST Among the chief culprits in the financial crisis were the credit ratings agencies. Which is why it's unfortunate that U.S. lawmakers pushing for financial reform are letting the companies go with a slap on the wrist. Congress is considering legislation that would impose new restrictions on Fitch, Moody's [MCO] and Standard & Poor's [Disclosure: My wife works for one of those companies, but she's innocent, I swear.] "The Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act Of 2009," the mammoth bill now under debate in the U.S. House, would heighten government oversight over the ratings agencies; require the firms to disclose more information on how they set ratings; and strengthen legal protections for investors burned by bad ratings. What the bill doesn't do is tackle the real problem with the ratings business -- companies picking the agency based on which one gives them the highest grade on their securities. Says James Lardner, a senior analyst … [Read more...] about Congress Too Soft on Credit Rating Agencies
The following script is from "40 Million Mistakes" which aired on Feb. 10, 2013. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. James Jacoby and Michael Karzis, producers. Whether we like it or not, we live in an age where much of what goes on in our daily lives is monitored, collected and sold to interested parties -- our driving records, our medical history, our Internet traffic and, most importantly, our credit information. A mistake on your credit report can cost you money. It can increase the interest you pay on loans, prevent you from getting a mortgage or buying a car, landing a job or getting a security clearance. Its not uncommon. A new government study to be released tomorrow indicates as many as 40 million Americans have a mistake on their credit report. Twenty million have significant mistakes. And our own investigation of the credit reporting industry shows that those mistakes can be nearly impossible to get removed from your record. To access a free credit report from each of the … [Read more...] about 40 Million Mistakes: Is your credit report accurate?
(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - For the first time, companies that issue credit scores for millions of consumers which determine their credit-worthiness will be under government oversight. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will supervise roughly 30 firms that make up 94 percent of the industry. That includes the three big credit reporting firms: Equifax Inc. (EFX), Experian, and TransUnion. CFBP Director Richard Cordray said Monday that given the huge impact on consumers' lives, it is important to ensure that the credit market is working properly."Credit reporting is at the heart of our lending systems and enables many of us to get credit, afford a home, or get an education," he said in a statement. "Supervising this market will help ensure that it works properly for consumers, lenders, and the wider economy. There is much at stake in making sure it is both fair and effective."Government proposes simpler mortgage formsConsumer agency targets discrimination by lendersThe … [Read more...] about Feds to supervise credit reporting for first time
(Credit.com) Some things never change when it comes to what annoys people about credit scores. While consumers' understanding of credit scores has evolved over the years, within that always-increasing level of understanding there remain some parts of credit scoring, such as inquiries, that people just don't seem to get. They get the idea of late payments and maxed out credit cards predicting risk. But inquiries? The ultimate credit report cheat sheet How often does your credit report change? Can you really get your credit score for free? A credit inquiry is a notation that goes on your credit report every time your credit report is accessed by anyone with a "permissible purpose," as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Inquiries remain on a credit report for two years, and generally fall into two categories: hard and soft inquiries. Only hard inquiries from within the past year can impact credit scores. Older hard inquiries and soft inquiries are ignored by the scores … [Read more...] about Should you worry about credit report inquiries?
(MoneyWatch) Oregon resident Julie Miller tried very hard, for two solid years, to get Atlanta-based Equifax Corp. to correct errors in her credit report she discovered when she was was turned down for a loan in 2009. When the company failed to correct the errors, she sued and won a multimillion judgment. The verdict puts credit reporting agencies on notice that a failure to follow the dictates of the Fair Credit Reporting Act could have costly consequences, says Justin Baxter, Miller's attorney. "Juries across the country have been returning multimillion-dollar verdicts like this," Baxter said. It also is good news for consumers who understand their rights. Despite updates to the act, which require credit-reporting agencies to pay closer attention to accuracy, federal regulators say that more than one in five credit reports still contain errors. Many of these can affect a consumer's ability to get reasonably priced loans. However, the law not only gives consumers ways to fix their … [Read more...] about Lessons from $18 million credit-reporting suit
Two senators on Wednesday proposed “massive and mandatory” fines for data breaches at Equifax Inc. and other credit reporting companies, starting at $100 for each consumer whose sensitive information is compromised. The bill from Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) would add a $50 fine for each additional piece of compromised personally identifiable information for each consumer. The penalties would double in cases where the credit reporting firm did not comply with federal data security standards or failed to notify officials of the breach in a timely manner. If the legislation had been in place when Equifax had a data breach last year that exposed the Social Security numbers and birth dates of as many as 145.5 million Americans, Equifax would have faced a fine of at least $1.5 billion, the senators said. The bill, called the Data Breach and Compensation Act, would direct the Federal Trade Commission to funnel half of any fine to compensate affected … [Read more...] about Senators want ‘massive’ fines for data breaches at Equifax and other credit reporting firms