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FTC/CFPB Consumer Reporting Accuracy Workshop Report

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Recently, I was honored to be a participant in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) co-sponsored Workshop titled “Accuracy in Consumer Reporting.”

 

Terry W. Clemans is executive director of the National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRA)The Workshop featured four panel discussions, all equally balanced between industry representatives and consumer advocates, with additional featured speakers from both the FTC and CFPB. The daylong discussions focused on all aspects of consumer reporting as it pertains to the accuracy of consumer data being reported. From traditional credit transactions, collection accounts, public records of all types (civil judgments, eviction records and criminal histories which are used in resident and employment screening consumer reports) were all addressed in the sessions.

 

Accuracy of the data is an area in which the NCRA has a major interest, and has played a major role in over the years. Way back in 1993, under the National Association of Independent Credit Reporting Agencies (NCRA’s founding name), we studied the accuracy implication of the move from the then required Residential Mortgage Credit Report (RMCR) to the current standard, the automated tri-merge. That study showed that there would be very little new data found by adding the third national credit bureau file, and significantly lost data from eliminating the RMCR requirements in the quest for speed and cheaper reports. Fast-forward nearly 30 years and those findings were upheld.

 

In 2002, the largest credit reporting accuracy study still ever conducted was performed by NCRA and the Consumer Federation of America, examining more than 1.2 million live tri-merge consumer reports and scores in three various size phases. We saw areas of concern, which Congress acted to address in 2003 with the passing of Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA). FACTA created the annual credit report Web site that provided consumers a free copy of their credit report for the first time without some type of adverse credit action happening to them, along with many other changes to improve the industry.

 

Most recently, the sweeping reforms known as the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) rolled out in 2015 incrementally over a three-year period made further changes that have increased the accuracy of consumer credit reports. NCAP eliminated areas that were problematic, and created new ways to improve other long time challenges. Of the multiple changes NCAP created, one of the most notable was the wholesale elimination of civil judgments from the national credit bureau databases. With the loss of Personal Identifying Information (PII) like Social Security Numbers and date of birth from many of those records, matching them to the proper consumer became inconsistent to a level in which they were removed from the system.

 

Panel One addressed the credit furnisher practices and compliance with accuracy requirements, featuring Panelists Leslie Bender, chief strategy officer and general counsel with BCA Financial Services; Francis Creighton, president and chief executive officer with the Consumer Data Industry Association; Syed Ejaz, policy analyst with Consumer Reports; Nessa Feddis, senior counsel and vice president with the American Bankers Association (ABA); Elisabeth Johnson-Crawford, chief technical officer with Credit Builders Alliance; and Moderators Susan Stocks, office of enforcement with the CFPB and David Wake of the Office of Supervision Policy with the CFPB.

 

All of the data in consumer reports start from a source of many types. Traditional creditors, collection agencies, private and government public record sources to name the most common. This group addressed some issues with each that set the foundation for future panels.

 

The opening of the Workshop was provided by Tiffany George, a senior attorney with the FTC Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, specifically focused on our industry. FTC Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips and Peggy Twohig, Assistant Director for Supervision Policy for the CFPB both provided remarks with long-time industry regulator Twohig’s address, “Setting the Stage–A Decade of Developments in Consumer Reporting” really hit the mark laying the framework for the sessions to come.

 

Panel Two addressed the current accuracy topics for traditional credit reporting featuring Panelists Roberto Cera, senior manager of data acquisitions for TransUnion; E. Michelle Drake, shareholder with BergerMontague PC; Troy Kubes, vice president and deputy chief compliance officer with Equifax; Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of federal consumer programs with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group; Donna Smith, chief data officer with consumer information services for Experian North America; Michael A. Turner, president and chief executive officer with the Policy and Economic Research Council; with Moderators Tony Rodriguez and Kiren Gopal from the Office of Supervision Policy of the CFPB.

 

This panel did a deeper dive into the traditional credit trade lines, the vast majority of most consumer report data that source is the creditors who furnish the information about their consumers to the credit bureaus.

 

After lunch, Brian Johnson, Deputy Director of the CFPB and Andrew Stivers, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Economics for the FTC, made remarks to recap the morning sessions, set up the day, and underline the importance of this industry to our nation’s economic health. Those remarks led into Panel Three, addressing “Accuracy Considerations for Background Screening.” Those panelists were: Terry Clemans, executive director of the National Consumer Reporting Association (NCRA); Eric Dunn, director of litigation for the National Housing Law Project; Jamie Gullen, supervising attorney with Community Legal Services; Ariel Nelson, staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center; Melissa L. Sorenson, executive director for the Professional Background Screening Association; Matt Visser; chief executive officer with VICTIG Screening Solutions; along with Moderators Tiffany George and Amanda Koulousias from the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection for the FTC.

 

Background consumer reports have a major impact on consumer ability to obtain rental housing and employment and is in need of help in the areas of missing and inconsistent data coming from the sources, the various types of municipal, states and private sources who collect, store and provide that information for reporting. 

 

Panel Four addressed “Navigating the Dispute Process,” and featured Panelists LaDonna Bohling, chief compliance officer with Receivable Solutions; Eric J. Ellman, senior vice president of public policy and legal affairs with the Consumer Data Industry Association; Stephanie Froelich, chief executive officer with True Hire; Kristi C. Kelly, and attorney with Kelly & Guzzo; Rebecca Kuehn, a partner with Hudson Cook; Chi Chi Wu, a staff attorney with the National Consumer Law Center; and Moderators Amanda Koulousias of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection with the FTC and Beth Freeborn of the Bureau of Economics with the FTC. The proper handling of consumer disputes is the battleground of consumer accuracy. Wrong data harms everyone, and unfortunately, there those trying to beat the system via identity theft and other methods that will dispute accurate items as inaccurate. Complicating matters worse is the credit repair firms, most of which use highly questionable and sometimes illegal practices to remove any derogatory items, regardless of legitimacy.

 

The day’s closing remarks were provided by Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the Division of Privacy & Identity Protection with the FTC. Maneesha made several interesting reflections on the day and discussed how this Workshop and the written comments submitted both prior to and through Jan. 30, 2020 will be digested by both agencies and lay the groundwork for future FTC and CFPB actions in the consumer reporting industry over the coming months. The current consumer reporting system is a robust and accurate one, however, there is always room for improvement.

 

It is very gratifying as a very active, long-time industry participant to see that so much has improved in the quality of consumer reporting over the past 30 years. The level of accuracy and the speed in which a consumer disputes are both processed vastly better today than in the past. All segments of the industry continue to improve the system that is regarded as the best in the world, and a key element of the world’s strongest economy. While the credit reporting system is not perfect, and it never will be, something that Sen. Proxmire realized back in 1970 with the original FCRA—we as an industry should be proud of the changes that we have advanced to benefit all Americans.



 Peggy Twohig, Assistant Director for Supervision Policy for the CFPB, presents “Setting the Stage–A Decade of Developments in Consumer Reporting”
Peggy Twohig, Assistant Director for Supervision Policy for the CFPB, presents “Setting the Stage–A Decade of Developments in Consumer Reporting”

 

Panel One Moderators Susan Stocks of the CFPB with David Wake of the FTC

Panel One Moderators Susan Stocks of the CFPB with David Wake of the FTC

 

 

Nessa Feddis of the American Bankers Association and Elisabeth Johnson-Crawford from Credit Builders Alliance share their thoughts on compliance
Nessa Feddis of the American Bankers Association and Elisabeth Johnson-Crawford from Credit Builders Alliance share their thoughts on compliance

 

Nessa Feddis of the American Bankers Association and Elisabeth Johnson-Crawford from Credit Builders Alliance share their thoughts on compliance
Francis Creighton from the Consumer Data Industry Association and Syed Ejaz from Consumer Reports address attendees during the opening panel discussion

 

Panel Two Moderators Tony Rodriguez and Kiren Gopal from the Office of Supervision Policy of the CFPB took a closer look at traditional credit trade lines

Panel Two Moderators Tony Rodriguez and Kiren Gopal from the Office of Supervision Policy of the CFPB took a closer look at traditional credit trade lines

 

Troy Kubes of Equifax shares his insight during the second panel discussion

Troy Kubes of Equifax shares his insight during the second panel discussion

 

Panelist Roberto Cera of TransUnion discusses traditional credit reporting

Panelist Roberto Cera of TransUnion discusses traditional credit reporting

 

Ed Mierzwinski of the US Public Interest Research Group discusses traditional credit reporting during his Panel Two session

Ed Mierzwinski of the US Public Interest Research Group discusses traditional credit reporting during his Panel Two session

 

Donna Smith of Experian North America shares her thoughts on traditional credit reporting

Donna Smith of Experian North America shares her thoughts on traditional credit reporting

 

Brian Johnson, Deputy Director of the CFPB, highlights how the Bureau enforces its mandates

Brian Johnson, Deputy Director of the CFPB, highlights how the Bureau enforces its mandates

 

The panelists of Panel Three: Accuracy Considerations for Background Screening

The panelists of Panel Three: Accuracy Considerations for Background Screening

 

Eric Dunn of the National Housing Law Project explains the role of his firm
Eric Dunn of the National Housing Law Project explains the role of his firm

 

Melissa L. Sorenson of the Professional Background Screening Association shares her thoughts during the “Accuracy Considerations for Background Screening” panel

Melissa L. Sorenson of the Professional Background Screening Association shares her thoughts during the “Accuracy Considerations for Background Screening” panel

 

Panel Three’s Matt Visser of VICTIG Screening Solutions explains the screening process

Panel Three’s Matt Visser of VICTIG Screening Solutions explains the screening process

 

Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center takes part in the “Navigating the Dispute Process” discussion

Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center takes part in the “Navigating the Dispute Process” discussion

 

Rebecca Kuehn of the law firm of Hudson Cook details the legalities of the dispute process

Rebecca Kuehn of the law firm of Hudson Cook details the legalities of the dispute process

 

Eric J. Ellman of the Consumer Data Industry Association

Eric J. Ellman of the Consumer Data Industry Association

 

Eric J. Ellman of the Consumer Data Industry Association

Panel Four Moderators Amanda Koulousias and Beth Freeborn of the FTC

 

Tiffany George, Senior Attorney with the FTC delivers her Opening Remarks

Tiffany George, Senior Attorney with the FTC delivers her Opening Remarks


 

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Credit Repair Service Earns Best-in-Class Rating from TopConsumerReviews.com

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This service is the obvious choice for anyone needing credit repair, and we’re pleased to give Sky Blue our top ranking in 2020.

TopConsumerReviews.com recently affirmed the top-ranked status of Sky Blue Credit Repair, an industry leader among providers of Credit Repair services.

After decades of a devil-may-care approach to credit, the American public seems to finally understand the importance of a good credit score. The better one’s credit, the easier it is to be approved to rent an apartment or buy a home, secure an auto loan, or even get funding for higher education. What happens when a person realizes this after making some poor financial choices? Is it too late?

The good news is that one’s credit history can be repaired, resulting in the resolution of outstanding issues and a higher credit score. Some consumers find it challenging to navigate the process of negotiating with creditors, removing negative reports from their credit history, and consolidating debt. Fortunately, there are reputable credit repair services that take out all the guesswork, putting their decades of expertise into practice to help clients improve their credit histories step-by-step and often doing all of the work on their behalf. The best services take it a step further, working with their customers to help them develop a plan for continued financial stability going forward.

“For over 30 years, Sky Blue has helped clients throughout the United States to achieve a healthy credit history,” affirmed Brian Dolezal of TopConsumerReviews.com, LLC. “Although it can feel daunting to work on improving your credit score, you can count on the Sky Blue experience to be ‘happy and stress-free’ just as they promise. Your initial consultation and review with a representative is absolutely free, and you won’t be pushed into signing up for any services that aren’t a good fit for your situation. If you choose to become a Sky Blue client, your rep will get right to work, disputing at least 5 items with each credit bureau every 35 days. You can rest assured that your decision to use this service is no-risk because of their condition-free guarantee: in the first 90 days of your paid membership, you can get a full refund for any reason. Sky Blue also allows you to pause your service at any time. Plus, clients continue to compliment Sky Blue for being effective, honest, and affordable. This service is the obvious choice for anyone needing credit repair, and we’re pleased to give Sky Blue our top ranking in 2020.”

To find out more about Sky Blue and other Credit Repair services, including reviews and comparison rankings, please visit the Credit Repair Services category of TopConsumerReviews.com at https://www.topconsumerreviews.com/credit-repair.

About Sky Blue

Sky Blue Credit is dedicated to credit repair, focusing solely on helping customers reach their credit goals through repair and restoration services since 1989. They pride themselves on speed, disputing 15 items every 35 days, as well as giving intelligent guidance with respect to optimizing customers’ credit scores.

About TopConsumerReviews.com

TopConsumerReviews.com is a leading provider of reviews and rankings for thousands of consumer products and services. From Credit Repair to Debt Relief and Personal Loans, TopConsumerReviews.com delivers in-depth product evaluations in order to make purchasing decisions easier.

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Credit360’s Credit Repair Services Now Includes Full Credit Audit

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One of the nation’s finest in personal and business credit solutions has expanded its services.

MIAMI, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Representatives with Credit360 announced today that its credit repair services now includes a full credit audit from the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

“We’re very excited about this,” said Andre Coakley, Founder & CEO of Credit360, a company with an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist individuals and businesses with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.

Features of the full credit audit include:

  • Full Credit Audit – Equifax, TransUnion, Experian

  • No Monthly Fees – Charged Only After Removal

  • Our Pricing Is Simple, Pay After Deletion

  • Advanced Tactic Disputes and Strategies

  • Comprehensive Credit Audit every 45 days

  • Unlimited credit items disputed for one year

  • 24/7 Online Portal Access from Smartphone

  • Free Coaching and Education

  • Assistance with Structuring Lines of Credit

  • Support with Card Spending and Tradeline Building

And more.

The company’s full credit audit offering comes on the heels of the Credit360 offering credit repair services in Orlando.

“We are very excited to now offer our life-changing credit repair services in Orlando,” Coakley said. “We are here to help you achieve your optimal credit profile by making the credit repair process convenient, individualized, and effective.”

Credit360’s specialized credit repair processes, credit expertise, and guaranteed customer service, company representatives say, make it the best in the industry.

Coakley explained that Credit360 has had the opportunity to help thousands of Americans correct their credit reports. In fact, Credit360, Coakley stressed, is a company that puts its money where its mouth is and only charges a fee when items are deleted, removed, or repaired from individuals’ credit reports.

“With our services, you will no longer have to use other expensive credit repair companies that charge monthly and don’t even produce results,” Coakley promised, before adding, “We are so confident in our advanced disputing tactics that we will allow you to pay for your deletions after you actually see our results and we even give you a 100 percent money-back guarantee to back it up just so you can relax.”

Coakley went on to reiterate that Credit360 is an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist customers with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.

“With our services, most of our clients see deletions within the first 45 days of enrollment and usually see an average increase of 93 points throughout their program cycle,” Coakley said.

In addition, the company also recently launched its Business Credit Program.

“Our Business Credit Program works directly with small business owners to help them get approved for new business funding and business line of credit options,” Coakley said.

Coakley went on to note that the individual business credit record is the primary way that companies evaluate whether to do business with a particular company – and on what terms.

Business credit includes a variety of data points about your business, such as the date it started, the skills and experience of your top leaders, the number of employees, and annual sales. This type of information, Coakley noted, is listed in the business’ credit profile, along with scores and ratings that are derived from the business’ past behavior to predict its future behavior.

“We have relationships with a number of business financing institutions and know each of their individual requirements and criteria, so we can help you become eligible for the best business line of credit as quickly as possible,” Coakley revealed, before adding, “Don’t let a bad business credit score or other factors prevent you from gaining access to the business funding you need most.”

The types of credit that Credit 360 can help businesses access include:

  • Store Business Credit with Dell, Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, BP, Chevron, Home Depot, Lowes, Staples, Office Depot, Ikea, and with most other major retailers.

  • Fleet Credit for fuel and auto vehicle repairs for your primary vehicle, and a fleet of commercial vehicles.

  • Cash Credit including Visa and MasterCard accounts you can use in most locations worldwide

  • Auto Vehicle Financing to purchase or lease your primary vehicle or a fleet of vehicles in your business.

For more information, please visit https://www.credit360.biz/about-us and https://www.credit360.biz/blog.

About Credit 360

Credit360 was established to assist individuals in restoring their personal credit and in offering a complete line of business credit solutions. Credit360 is a financial services firm specializing in credit restoration and business consulting services.

Contact Details:

Andre Coakley

10664 SW 186th Street
Miami, FL 33157

Phone: 305-235-4848

Source: Credit360 Credit Repair

Media Contact

Andre Coakley, Credit360 Credit Repair, +1 305-235-4848, wmt231@gmail.com

SOURCE Credit360 Credit Repair

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ACTION13: How to protect your credit score

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Unpaid credit card debt and missed mortgage payments are two of the biggest things that leave negative marks on your credit.

Credit Repair experts say the economic shutdowns are causing credit scores to fall for a lot of people.

One way to possibly stave off a hit to your credit is a through a forbearance.

A forbearance is where the lending agency agrees to let you pause your payments for a period of time, and it will not count against your credit.

This works for both credit cards and home mortgages.

But keep in mind, you have to be caught up on your debts to get a deferment. So, if you are going to miss a payment, reach out to your bank or lender sooner rather than later.

“Reach out to your bank. Work with your bank,” said Robert Pfister with 755 Credit Score. “Work it out. Banks usually help you when you reach out.”

755 Credit Score also says you can get a free consultation.

You can get a free copy of your credit report every year from the three credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

RELATED: You can boost your credit score with a few simple tips

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