Persons with Credit Disputes Can’t Get Mortgages

Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac currently flag any mortgage loan application where the applicant disputes something on a credit report. As reported in the AARP Bulletin, that’s causing denials for applicants, no matter the strength of their qualifications. Loan officers report that many flagged applications get put on hold or simply denied. “Some of these underwriters … won’t process a loan” with the notation “consumer disputes this item,” says Eddie Johansson, president of Credit Security Group,a credit services company in Texas. The law is clear that a consumer has the right to dispute any inaccuracy on his or her credit...

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FTC Proposes to Restrict Credit Bureaus Ads for “Free” Credit Reports

Federal law requires the credit agencies to make everyone’s credit reports available at no charge on a single website. The feds allowed the three major credit agencies to design the site. Predictably, the credit agencies designed the website, www.annualcreditreport.com, to confuse and entice consumers to buy credit scores and various credit protection products. Equally egregious, the three credit bureaus have capitalized on the free website by advertising “free” credit reports that are not really free. Fortunately, the Credit Card Act of 2009 requires the FTC to issue new rules to stop these abuses. To implement the law, the FTC has...

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Credit Checks May be Unfair to Job Applicants

The NY Times reports that employers are increasingly running credit checks on job applicants. While that may make sense if the applicant is going to be handling money or guard a Brinks truck, it makes no sense in the case of jobs that do not involve a risk of loss of money. Only a few states have laws barring the practice. However, there is a federal law requiring agencies that provide employment reports to employers to notify the applicant of the contents of the report if it is adverse. The idea is to give applicants a chance to dispute inaccuracies...

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A Towed Car Does Not Establish A Credit Relationship Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

A towing company towed our client’s car from the public streets because the registration had expired. The towing company sold the car for nothing. Then it assigned its claim for the towing charge to a collection company, Pacific Creditors. Pacific Creditors pulled our client, Maria Pinto’s credit report. Apparently it was trying to determine if she had enough assets to satisfy a judgment. Assured by her credit report that she was sufficiently well-off, Pacific Creditors then began to telephone Ms. Pintos repeatedly. Its agents told her that if she did not pay the towing charge, it would ruin her good...

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Capital One Settles With Identity Theft Victim

Capital One Bank and the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) recently settled with our client who was the victim of identity theft. It took years for the identity theft victim to get Capital One to stop trying to collect on the account it opened for an imposter. The story began when Capital One sent a pre-approved credit card application to our client at her former college apartment. Someone in the building got the application from the mail and used it to get a VISA card from Capital One in our client’s name. The imposter took $500 from the...

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