Trans Union’s Tenant Screening Service Trips Up NPR Reporter

Bobby Allyn, a NPR reporter for station WHYY in Philadelphia writes in the Washington Post about his experience with Trans Union having mixed his identity with that of a criminal imprisoned in Tennessee. Mr Ally had applied to rent an apartment in Philadelphia. The landlord ran his name through Trans Union’s tenant screening service (called SmartMove). Unfortunately for Mr. Allyn, SmartMove reported he had a dozen criminal convictions on his rap sheet. Mr. Ally called Trans Union to complain about the error; a representative told him the records were from Rutherford County Circuit Court in Tennessee outside of Nashville where...

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Prof. Elizabeth Warren Talks About Credit Reporting on NPR’s Fresh Air

Last week, Prof. Elizabeth Warren talked about credit reporting on the NPR program Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Ms. Gross’ husband had to hire an attorney to convince the credit bureaus that someone else’s bad debts listed on his reports did not belong to him. In response to Ms. Gross’ questions how the inaccuracies occur and why it is so hard to correct them, Prof. Warren said the credit system is “noisy” with, for example, data associated with social security numbers one digit off being attributed to the wrong person. She said the problem is the credit industry has no...

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Banks Are Increasing Credit Card Rates & Fees and Pushing Lousy Products to Make Up for Mortgage Related Losses

In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Prof. Elizabeth Warren warns consumers that banks are increasing interest rates and fees on credit cards for no other reason other than that they need revenue to make up for losses in other lines of their business. The banks reason that in a climate in which credit is harder to obtain, consumers are less likely to close their accounts when hit with these increases and switch to different credit cards. Banks are also adding such “trips and traps” as double cycle billing (you pay interest on recent charges). Banks are...

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Countrywide Says it Will Help 80,000 Consumers Keep Their Homes

Millions of consumers are facing foreclosure due to risky adjustable-rate mortgages. Countrywide, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, has gotten a ton of bad press lately for its high-profile role in the crisis. Yesterday Chris Arnold reported in a story on National Public Radio that Countrywide planned to refinance or modify some $16 billion worth of loans for more than 80,000 borrowers who will soon hit an unaffordable rate reset, or those who have already fallen behind after their payments rose. Some of those borrowers’ interest rates had risen to as high as 13%. It was good news for...

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