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How the careless errors of credit reporting agencies are ruining people’s lives

Washington Post/WHYY article

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/09/08/how-the-careless-errors-of-credit-reporting-agencies-are-ruining-peoples-lives/?utm_term=.2187be9b8b9f 
 

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There oughta be a law....oh wait...

Link just gives me an error. But I'm pretty sure I've read this same story before probably 20 years ago.


I don't think this will be solved until there are substantial statutory damages for wrong information that causes *ANY* harm, no matter how minimal. Make it so the consumer simply needs to show possible harm (ie, a denial based on the bad data) without having to show how much they are harmed.

LorenPechtel said:   I don't think this will be solved until there are substantial statutory damages for wrong information that causes *ANY* harm, no matter how minimal. Make it so the consumer simply needs to show possible harm (ie, a denial based on the bad data) without having to show how much they are harmed.
  This. Or option B, a class action based on refusal to remove those inquiries, at $1,500 per report/month/reporting period, etc. That's the case for damages. There's law, there's case law, but most cases are individual cases and usually against collection agencies, not the CRAs themselves.
 

And this isn't really a FCRA or FACTA issue, it's a background check, not a credit report.
I think a libel suit solves the problem. They called the guy a convicted felon, he can prove he's not a convicted felon, and they were not interested in immediately correcting their libelous statements, so it's willful.

taxmantoo said:   And this isn't really a FCRA or FACTA issue, it's a background check, not a credit report.
I think a libel suit solves the problem. They called the guy a convicted felon, he can prove he's not a convicted felon, and they were not interested in immediately correcting their libelous statements, so it's willful.

You're correct that it's not a FCRA (or even less FATCA) issue since it's not about errors in a credit report but in criminal record. But I don't think libel would work well unless TransUnion denied the request to take down erroneous info without investigation. If article is correct, they acknowledged the request to take down the information but pending confirmation by their own investigation rather than taking it down solely on the word of a customer calling on the phone.

If they did take down criminal record preventively upon simple request, every criminal could, on the other hand, call them to take down their criminal record "preventively" then use the investigation period to get jobs, accomodations, etc. they could not obtain with their criminal record in place.  Once they'd have obtained jobs or lodging with erroneously clean criminal records, landlord or employer would be turning to TransUnion sueing them for erroneous information and demanding compensation. Kind of a damn if you do, damn if you don't scenario.

But they definitely should have more streamlined customer service to dispute errors in those non-credit records. Alledged 2 weeks for investigation and resolution seems fair enough IF accurate. Article does not give much hope for prompt resolution especially if there's little incentive for TransUnion to do so for regular consumers. Definitely supports the need for legislation to regulate the handling of other personal records in a similar fashion as credit reports.

Shandril said:   
taxmantoo said:   And this isn't really a FCRA or FACTA issue, it's a background check, not a credit report.
I think a libel suit solves the problem. They called the guy a convicted felon, he can prove he's not a convicted felon, and they were not interested in immediately correcting their libelous statements, so it's willful.

You're correct that it's not a FCRA (or even less FATCA) issue since it's not about errors in a credit report but in criminal record. But I don't think libel would work well unless TransUnion denied the request to take down erroneous info without investigation. If article is correct, they acknowledged the request to take down the information but pending confirmation by their own investigation rather than taking it down solely on the word of a customer calling on the phone.

If they did take down criminal record preventively upon simple request, every criminal could, on the other hand, call them to take down their criminal record "preventively" then use the investigation period to get jobs, accomodations, etc. they could not obtain with their criminal record in place.  Once they'd have obtained jobs or lodging with erroneously clean criminal records, landlord or employer would be turning to TransUnion sueing them for erroneous information and demanding compensation. Kind of a damn if you do, damn if you don't scenario.

But they definitely should have more streamlined customer service to dispute errors in those non-credit records. Alledged 2 weeks for investigation and resolution seems fair enough IF accurate. Article does not give much hope for prompt resolution especially if there's little incentive for TransUnion to do so for regular consumers. Definitely supports the need for legislation to regulate the handling of other personal records in a similar fashion as credit reports.

  They DO have a duty to mitigate, and in my experience they will if you sue.  

highmktgoods said:     They DO have a duty to mitigate, and in my experience they will if you sue.  
 


From what I've heard, that works for credit reports too.
A summons and complaint will get a CR cleaned, or at least taken offline, within a day or two of receipt.
  



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