Credit Reporting Agencies

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Oct 11, 2002
Colorado Springs
These organizations are criminal IMO. My dad is now having to sue Transunion (the worst of the 3 big ones) because they will not remove a discrepancy of his file even though it is totally cleared and has been cleared by Equifax and Experian. All this simply because he is trying to get a job with a new company. For the life of me, I do not get why credit reporting is such a fiasco. Well, I do; the politicans cave in to them; it's all about making $$$$. But they are screwing people over BAD and something major needs to be done.

Plus, whenever I try and get my free annual disclosure under FACT, Transunion can not verify me, either on the website or over the phone. But, when I request it by mail, it goes right through.
I understand. They're pretty exempt from an individual doing anything about it.

When my mother died she had some bills and had virtually no assets. All of a sudden I start seeing my interests rates on my credit cards going up. I inquire and find out that there's a bad credit item on my report. I requested a copy from the credit card company, it was TRW (IIRC). Went on to their web site and they had a menu type thing for protesting an entry on your credit report. I selected "deceased relative at same address" ...end of story ...removed. Then the lousy creditors just filed with another credit agency and I was right back where I started.

This may have changed, but I never got a credit report generated (mailed) from a PA address. The phone number listed in PA referred you to an 800 number and/or gave you address out of state. I believe that this is the case in every state. That is, I don't think that they generate a credit report in NY for someone living in NY.

Who is the average consumer going to sue? Go out of state and get a lawyer? When I talked to my attorney about it, he, more or less, said not to waste my time.

If I want to get a home equity loan the underwriter will require that those debts get cleared. Now, luckily, I do have bona fide documentation that this was my mother's accounts and not mine. Since I have very little cc debt, it's not an issue. If any potential creditor mentions it, I'll just show them the documents.

I'm truly surprised that there hasn't been a class action suit and/or corrective legislation to fix this "evil".
I agree, I shred everything that has my name on it, no shredder? I burn it on the front joke, ill have a bonfire right there. It's just too risky these days, someone gets a hold of your info and you are literally done for life, forget getting it fixed.

something has to be done.
Gary, there are several HUGE class action lawsuits against the 3 major credit bureaus. We can only hope they win bigtime!
Search the Web for a multitude of horror stories.

I will refrain from writing what I believe needs done to save us from what the sci-fi writers have written about for decades regarding a future USA, a fictional future for those in the past that is becoming non-fiction today.

Obey thine masters, ye sheep.

Pledge thine allegience to corporate America and the political entities they control.

You are nothing.

In reality - half arze legislation led us down this path. Partial patches and strange oversights....have these companies doing just the minimum to stay legal. These guys add no value to the process IMHO, yet when they skew up - watch out.

The whole free report thing nauseates me.
ive been getting pre approved credit offers in the mail ALOT lately. i got ahold of transunion and asked them why, they said i opted in to recieving these offers. i call [censored] on that. i asked them to show me proof, they had none. i never oped in for credit offers. no one in their right ming would!

i got them to take me off their stupid list but it took alot of work. i had to call and request them to send me a form to fill out. then when it comes i fill it out and send it back.

i dont see how its legal to claim that i opted in.
Count me in as one who has had nightmare experiences with these organizations. I use to live near Experian. You don't know how many times I wanted to blast my way through their security and go Postal on them.
The central problem is that credit agencies are not accountable for thier actions that affect most everyone.

Count me in as one who has had nightmare experiences with these organizations. I use to live near Experian. You don't know how many times I wanted to blast my way through their security and go Postal on them.

You should have just staked out the gate and followed them home at quitting time.
Credit agencies sending our files abroad
- David Lazarus
Friday, November 7, 2003

Two of the three major credit-reporting agencies, each holding detailed files on about 220 million U.S. consumers, are in the process of outsourcing sensitive operations abroad, and a third may follow suit shortly, industry officials acknowledge for the first time.

Privacy advocates say the outsourcing of files that include Social Security numbers and complete credit histories could lead to a surge in identity theft because U.S. laws cannot be enforced overseas.

For their part, the credit agencies say the trend is a necessary cost- cutting move in light of new legislation that would allow all consumers to obtain free copies of their credit reports.

The top credit agencies -- Equifax, Experian and Trans Union -- have refused in the past to comment on their outsourcing plans. No longer.

"A hundred percent of our mail regarding customer disputes is going to go to India at some point," said David Emery, executive vice president and chief financial officer of TransUnion in Chicago. "We are now testing the system and negotiating a contract with an outside vendor. We expect to sign that contract by the end of the year."

Emery said in an interview that the decision to have an Indian firm handle thousands of written requests for changes to credit files each year was necessitated in part by the amended Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

The act would require credit agencies to provide copies of personal credit files to anyone who asks -- an expense that TransUnion, for one, estimates could cost the company as much as $350 million a year.

A credit file serves as a snapshot of one's legal identity and financial status. It contains a person's name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and details of relationships with all credit-card issuers and other lenders.

Emery also said the decision to "offshore'' a key customer service was necessitated by "the competition placed on us by Equifax and Experian."

Equifax, he said, was the first major credit agency to move operations abroad, establishing a facility in the Caribbean. Experian, meanwhile, is "actively testing" work with an overseas affiliate, Emery said.

"We had to get into this process for defensive reasons," he said.

An Equifax spokesman's first response when asked about the Atlanta company's outsourcing was to insist that all customer service was handled at North American facilities. Confronted with TransUnion's remarks, though, a senior Equifax official later offered a different answer.

"We have a vendor in Jamaica," said Rob Hogan, senior vice president of customer services. "The Jamaican workers handle data entry at the very beginning of the reinvestigation process (for disputed credit reports)."

He said the overseas workers had "limited access" to consumers' credit files but were "closely supervised by our Atlanta office."

Hogan acknowledged that Equifax had had "problems from time to time" with consumers' privacy being compromised. But he said each problem had led to improvements in security. He also said there had been no known security breaches in the four years that Equifax has outsourced to Jamaica.

"We take great care of our data," Hogan stressed. "It's our livelihood."

An Experian spokesman, Addrian Brooks, denied Trans Union's assertion that the Costa Mesa company is now "actively testing" an overseas operation. "We are confident that Trans Union doesn't know what our plans are because we don't know what their plans are," he said.

However, Brooks repeatedly emphasized that Experian could outsource work abroad at any time.

"We definitely are evaluating every option on the table, and offshoring is one of them," he said. "I don't want to be quoted as saying we'll never do it."

Privacy advocates say the outsourcing of credit agencies' work abroad --

and hence access to U.S. consumers' credit files -- dramatically increases the chance that confidential information will get into the wrong hands.

"Consumers should be worried," said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearing House in San Diego. "The infrastructure to protect information just isn't there in a lot of these places."

Credit industry officials bristle at such talk.

"Are we saying that Hindus are more criminal?" asked Stuart Pratt, president of the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group for credit- reporting agencies. "Are we saying that workers in India are less safe? That strikes me as xenophobic, and I don't want to go there."

But privacy advocates say that this isn't a question of people's being more or less trustworthy in one place or another. It's a question of enforcement of strict U.S. laws.

"The problem is not that they're in India," said Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. "The problem is that American laws are not going to be enforced in India."

In fact, the Indian government, largely at the urging of privacy- conscious European officials, is working on new legislation aimed at better controlling the country's rapidly growing data-processing industry.

But privacy advocates note that India passed a similar cyber-crime law several years ago making it illegal to steal information from computers. Since then, only 11 people have been charged with violating the law and, of that number, only two cases are being prosecuted.

"If you're an international crime ring, and you want Social Security numbers for identity theft, you're going to look at the weakest link," said Givens at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. "And that's quite possibly these overseas companies."

The credit-rating agencies say that privacy and security are their most important considerations and that they hold overseas affiliates to the same high standards that they hold their domestic offices.

However, California's two Democratic senators expressed alarm that the agencies are outsourcing work.

"The application of American law in a foreign country is difficult, if not impossible," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "Therefore, the more companies move overseas, the less American law can control the uses for which personal data is put. And this can only represent an increasing threat to the privacy of our citizens."

Sen. Barbara Boxer said she would ensure that the matter was raised as senators and House members completed changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"This information is very significant, and I intend to make sure that the conferees who are finalizing the bill are aware of The Chronicle's investigation in hopes that they will protect Americans from such outrageous invasions of privacy," Boxer said.

David Lazarus' column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He also can be seen regularly on KTVU's "Mornings on 2." Send tips or feedback to [email protected].

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Not about global economy about loss of control due to not being able to enforce american law whereever this is outsourced.

Think about all the cost savings by not having to comply with those US laws. Hmm, wonder if that's why widgets from China are cheaper?
My wife had so many problems with the big three agencies when her ex-husband died eight years ago and she had to spend one year trying to clear up dozens of his negative accounts that she began helping other people do the same. We have learned all the ins and outs of credit reporting and have many contacts in the business. She started doing credit repair, rebuilding and consulting, professionally five years ago and we incorporated our business earlier this year. I'm a little more diplomatic about it but according to her, the entire credit reporting business is just a very big SCAM. About 80% of Americans have marginal or poor credit scores; while some of these people are really low-lifes and deadbeats, many are just normal folks that have maybe missed a couple of payments in several years and have ERRORS on their report that lower their score. The creditors love credit scores because they can legitimize higher fees and rates and make more money. The credit agencies love the whole system because they get paid to help creditors charge more money. Its a win-win for everyone but the consumer.

In many cases, it can be difficult, frustrating and time-consuming for the average person to get rid of erroneous information. It seems like errors should be quickly and easily removed but many times it just doesn't work that way. The creditors have a vested interest in keeping derogative information on the report, even if it is wrong.

I will say that one possible benefit to having disputes handled overseas it that the agencies have a time limit in which to respond to any disputes. If that time limit is not met the information disputed MUST be removed from the report according to US law. There are simple ways to "use up" some of that time limit and then by sending it overseas I would imagine that it will become more difficult for the agencies to verify the dispute within the time limit. I still think it would be a very bad idea to send all this personal information to another country but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
logged into a washington mutual CC account


Your FICO credit score is 749

do I feel better about having a 749 than a 650 or something? no, why? cause when you go try and get a loan (not that I ever have) they will always rape you by saying something like "well, I could get you a lower rate if you had a score of - blah blah" and throw you a 17 to 21% POS rate, even if you had an 800, they would say "well if you had an 850", it never ends, a score means nothing, money talks, always has, always will - a score is always trumped by cash - same thing when it comes to grades and an ivy league school.
credit and insurance are the two biggest scams out there. Unfortunately they both have their place - thus why they do what they do.


logged into a washington mutual CC account


Your FICO credit score is 749

do I feel better about having a 749 than a 650 or something? no, why? cause when you go try and get a loan (not that I ever have) they will always rape you by saying something like "well, I could get you a lower rate if you had a score of - blah blah" and throw you a 17 to 21% POS rate, even if you had an 800, they would say "well if you had an 850", it never ends, a score means nothing, money talks, always has, always will - a score is always trumped by cash - same thing when it comes to grades and an ivy league school.

I agree to certain extent, however, if you are armed with the knowledge of what your score means, you will definitely have an advantage. For the example above, if you know that a 749 is an "A" rate, then you can call B.S. when they try to pull that on you. Imagine going into a car dealership and buying a car without having any idea of the going price for the model you want. Chances are, you will get screwed on the deal. However, if you know what you should be paying, either you will get a better price or you will walk away when they try to overcharge you. Knowledge is power.
true, very true. I guess for those really good 0 to 3% deals you have to go buy brand new when they are trying to unload, and have an 800+ score.... I was referring to used car dealers (that term just makes me feel like locking my door and boarding my windows up). When you "rate shop" doesn't it look bad on your credit cause they think you are desperate and you're running all over trying to get credit?
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