- The United States Government Representatives
- United States of America
Requested Legislation for Requirements of Credit Reporting Agencies
The three major credit reporting agencies are partially responsible for the housing crisis in this country and it is time that the Federal Government make them more responsible for their actions.
They have set some guidelines with The Fair Debt Collection Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but there is much more that needs to be done to hold these agencies accountable.
1. Credit reporting agencies are not held liable for inaccurate information on your credit report. They are required to remove it if they can not prove the information is accurate. However, they don’t send the consumer detailed proof of their investigation. They only tell the consumer that the information was verified. There is no penalty enforced for inaccurate information, therefore there is no motivation to verify the information or remove it. In fact, the credit reporting agencies are paid by the companies to post the information on a consumer’s credit report.
2. Credit reporting agencies distort information about late payments. They will list that you had a late payment on your credit report indefinitely, even if a consumer has held the account for 20 years and was only late on one payment 16 years ago. This provides an inaccurate portrayal of the consumer’s credit worthiness and artificially lowers the consumer’s credit score.
3. Credit reporting agencies do not verify the original date of a debt that has gone to collection. A debt that has gone to collection should be kept on a credit report for only 7 years plus 180 days from the date of original default on payment. The credit reporting agency will list the item as a new debt from the date the collection company purchases the debt. This occurs over and over as a debt is bought and sold by various collection companies. This artificially lowers the consumer’s credit score.
4. When a consumer disputes a debt on their credit report, the credit reporting agency only lists that the consumer disputes the debt. They do not list the exact words of the consumer. This does not provide the consumer the ability to properly defend themselves regarding inaccurate information on their report.
5. Credit reporting agencies list collections for medical bills. Medical information is not disclosed, but the collection account for a medical bill is disclosed. This is against the privacy rights of the consumer.
6. Collection agencies are not required to verify the accuracy of a collection account before posting the debt on a consumer’s credit report. This allows inaccurate information to be posted that artificially lowers the consumer’s credit score.
1. Credit reporting agencies should be fined by the Federal Government for inaccuracies that are not removed within the 30-day period already mandated by law.
2. Credit reporting agencies should be fined by the Federal Government for not receiving documented proof of the debt prior to posting a debt on a consumer’s report. Among the documented proof should be signed applications for credit from the originating company.
3. Credit reporting agencies should only be allowed to list the late payment history for no more than 7 years, just as closed accounts can only be listed for 7 years.
4. Credit reporting agencies should be fined for placing incorrect and artificial dates on a consumer’s credit report.
5. Credit reporting agencies should be required to post word-for-word the consumer’s explanation and disagreement about the debt. Failure to disclose the consumer’s words completely should result in a fine.
6. Credit reporting agencies should not be allowed to list any medical related bills, including medical bills that have gone to collection. The reporting agency should be fined for posting medical information on a consumer’s credit report.
7. Collection agencies should be required to verify through documentation that the debt is indeed accurate. The verification should include proof of a signed application for credit or services from the originator of the debt. Failure to verify this information should result in a fine. A standard should be set by the Federal Government that after a specified number of fines, the company and its managers would not be allowed to provide future collection services.
Costs and Benefits to the Federal Government:
The Federal Trade Commission already regulates the credit reporting agencies, so there is no requirement to create a new government agency. Current government agency staff can be reorganized to manage the changes in regulatory divisions.
1. The Federal Government would receive new revenue from the agencies in the form of fines from the credit reporting agencies and collection agencies for inaccurate information.
2. Properly scored consumer credit reports would provide consumers with opportunities to pursue credit and higher cost purchases, such as homes and cars, that would help the overall United States economy.
The New Legislation for Credit Reporting Agencies petition to The United States Government Representatives was written by Katherina Marchiano and is in the category Politics at GoPetition.