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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Secretive Credit Bureaus Plague Consumers

Today’s Washington Post reports on virtually unknown credit bureaus such as L2C, an Atlanta credit bureau that collects consumer credit information from such sources as magazine subscriptions, cable bills, auto warranty companies, prepaid cards, payday lenders, and rent-to-own companies. L2C’s reports cover the 30 million people who live on the margins of the banking system. L2C is not the only credit bureaus that are virtually unknown to consumers. ChoicePoint, which is owned by the parent company to LexisNexis, sells reports to creditors based on tax assessments, and criminal histories. Chex Systems, TeleCheck and SCAN report to banks and others on...

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Credit Repair Scams: How To Spot Them

Consumers with poor credit naturally want to clean up their credit reports. But as Michelle Singletary reported in her Washington Post column last week, there are credit repair scammers out there that are perfectly willing to take consumers’ hard-earned cash and then fail to do anything useful. Worse, some of their “methods” can be unethical or even unlawful. Consumers should look for these red flags in deciding whether a credit repair organization is legitimate. Beware of credit repair organizations that do any of the following: 1) The company requires an upfront fee. Under the federal Credit Repair Organizations Act, it...

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Consumers’ Credit Reports Remain Substantially Inaccurate, According to Federal Lawmakers

4 out of 5 credit reports contain an error, and a quarter of those errors cause serious problems, according to today’s news from Washington. Yet the 2003 law that was supposed to make it easier for consumers to guard against identity theft and to freely access their credit reports is still not final. The Fair Credit Reporting Act’s 2003 amendments were supposed to make it easier for consumers to access and correct mistakes in their credit reports. But House Financial Services Committee members today criticized the FTC and the Federal Reserve for not implementing final rules from the 2003 law,...

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