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Good News for Consumers: Credit Bureaus Launch National Consumer Assistance Plan

March 10th, 2015 · No Comments · Credit Reports

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2018)

Good News for Consumers: Credit Bureaus Launch National Consumer Assistance PlanWhen you consider the power they have over your financial life, shouldn’t it feel like the credit bureaus are more for you than against you? New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman certainly thinks so, as evidenced by the settlement agreement he announced with Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Under the terms of the agreement, the National Consumer Assistance Plan will require the three major credit reporting bureaus to:

  • More thoroughly investigate consumer disputes over inaccuracies in their credit reports. As stated in Schneiderman’s press release:

“The agreement requires that the CRAs employ specially trained employees to review all supporting documentation submitted by consumers for all disputes involving mixed files, fraud or identity theft. 

“The agreement also requires that, for all categories of disputes, when a creditor verifies a disputed credit item through the automated dispute resolution system, the CRA will not automatically reject the consumer’s dispute, but rather, a CRA employee with discretion to resolve the dispute must review the supporting documentation.”

  • Inform consumers of other options if and when their disputes are rejected.
  • Offer an additional free annual credit report to consumers who successfully dispute a listing, giving them an opportunity to make sure of it subsequent correction.
  • Wait 180 days before listing delinquent medical debt on credit reports, as payment may be delayed on the part of the health insurer, not the consumer. This echoes action already taken by FICO, which now gives medical debt less weight when tabulating credit scores.
  • Stop listing on credit reports any delinquent debts that do not stem from an agreement or contract, such as traffic tickets.
  • Create a National Credit Reporting Working Group to develop best practices and policies for data furnishers responsible for the items listed on credit reports.
  • Increase oversight of data furnishers to ensure compliance with best practices and policies.
  • Make more evident on their websites that, instead of purchasing their credit reports directly through the bureaus, consumers may request their reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Do you have inaccuracies in your credit reports? Here’s how to write a letter of dispute.

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