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When consumers apply for credit, housing, or employment, consumer reports are often used to help decide whether they can get that loan, apartment, or job. With so much at stake, the accuracy of those reports is of the utmost importance. On December 10, 2019, the FTC and CFPB will host a workshop to discuss issues related to the accuracy of traditional credit reports and background screening reports used by prospective employers and landlords.

A lot has happened in consumer reporting since the FTC’s 2012 study on accuracy in credit reports and the follow-up study a few years later. The CFPB has conducted supervisory reviews of large credit reporting agencies, as well as providers of consumer financial products or services that furnish information about consumers to CRAs. Then there was the 2015 multistate AG settlement requiring stricter standards for matching records, removing certain public record information, and restricting medical debt reporting. And tech developments once on the horizon – for example, the use of machine learning and alternative data in making eligibility determinations – are right here, right now.

Who will be around the table at the December 10th event? We hope to have a wide-ranging public conversation among consumer advocates, industry representatives, and regulators. The FTC and CFPB just posted a list of discussion topics and would like your feedback. Save a step and file your comment online. We’ll leave the public record open until January 10, 2020. Interested in volunteering as a presenter or panelist? Email us as (By the way, if you’re affiliated with a group that has provided funding for research, analysis, or commentary on relevant topics, please provide details in your comment or in your request for consideration as a speaker.)

The workshop – it’s free and open to the public – is set for the FTC’s Constitution Center conference facility, 400 7th St., SW, in Washington, D.C. We’ll also webcast it live on the FTC event page.

Mark December 10th on your calendar and follow the Business Blog for updates on the agenda.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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September 19, 2019
Civil service exams and non exam hires ... How does someone's past cause delays in aquiring a equal opportunity job when. Seekers are hesitent to trust job fair offers and information for true professionalism as resource for employment..?
September 20, 2019
With all the hacking going our Social Security numbers and our credit reports are being spread around like honey and they are not being kept private,every doctor, hospital has to have our Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers ,then Experian was hacked and information was used to obtain a lot of items before the public was even informed, Something has to be done to protect our information or we might as well write it on our shirts & walk around with it! What solutions do you per pose to solve this epidemic?
Martha Ciccio
September 22, 2019
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. I pray that everyone will sign up for this workshop, I read every message that you send. I am 73 and need to be educated on every situation and scam that comes up new every day. Thank you for helping to educate us all.
October 01, 2019
I would like to see the law changed for the 7 year reporting of paid collections. My father was ill, i put my life on hold to care for him. I have paid off several collections in hopes I might be able to have a home. But now that I am 60, I have a 57$ collection, that I paid, that is destroying my chances of ever having a home. I don't believe this is "fair". I think it should be changed for paid items. Otherwise it gives no incentives to try very hard and pay debts. It ruins you for life if you are 60.
FTC Staff
October 03, 2019

In reply to by kayqueen

If a company takes adverse action against you, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, based on information in your report, you're entitled to a free copy of your credit report. You must ask for your report within 60 days of getting the notice of the action. The notice will give you the name, address, and phone number of the credit reporting company.

You can dispute any items on the report that aren't accurate. This FTC article about disputing items on your credit report tells more.

November 14, 2019
Being an older person, 61, disabled, and a victim of identity theft several times due to breaches within major companies. These companies are BCBS, Equifax, Certegy, major companies that had all of mine and my husbands information. In one month alone there were 57 inquiries on my Experian report plus companies I had never had dealings with but they were able to open credit in my name and SSN, which is now ruined. it is sad when we have companies reporting our credit and they have been breached. Since the Equifax breach our credit has gotten worse on their site especially. isn't it ironic we can't get a mortgage, car or credit card because of Equifax who is reporting this trash on our credit reports. Something needs to happen to help us, the innocent people out here who need someone to speak up for us. Now we suffer because of the mishandling of our credit reports, it seems all I have done is babysit them to make sure nothing is showing up but once again 7 more items were on my report just 5 days ago. The irony of it all is not one bit funny. I will sign up for this work shop.
FTC Staff
November 14, 2019

In reply to by Guest

Get help with identity theft at, or call 1-877-438-4338. You can create an identity theft report, and use it to prove to businesses that someone stole your identity. You can put a freeze on your credit report to make it hard for scammers to open new credit in your name. You have a right to get fraudulent information removed (or "blocked") from your credit report, and stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts.

DP Pruitt
December 03, 2019
How can we view the webcast? Will there be a link on the event page to the Accuracy Workshop web page next Tuesday? Thank you.
What’s the point
January 21, 2020
I filed a complaint with CFPB on numerous occasions and they did NOTHING. My credit dropped from 680 to low 400 because 1. I was approved for car loan then the dealership tried to sell me the one and only car they would show me, and tried to force me to sign for a $16,000.00 loan $450.00 car payment then reported to the credit bureaus that I was denied for the loan because I refused to take the loan , and over 20 inquires. I had written and documented proof. NOTHING WAS DONE. A year later I bough a car but was never disclosed it was a fee simple interest rate of 17%. I lost my job and made my payment 19 days late and paid 3 payments 1 trot the current month and 2 extra. The lender tried to scam me by applying 2 payments towards the balance and kept over $300.00 as interest they refused to correct it and claimed I was 2 months behind. I threatened to file a complaint with the CFPB. They changed their tune and posted the two payments correctly but retaliated by reporting my payment 30 days late to the credit bureaus. I filed a complaint with the CFPB, emailed them all of my documents, confirmation numbers, etc., proving my payment wasn’t 20 days late let alone 30. The CFPB did NOTHING again, I was so sure they would protect me, the consumer, instead they send me the lenders response and tell me they have closed the case! The response from the lender was a statement that said yes she was 30 days late! Nothing else that even remotely support their fraudulent claim. I have filed dispute after dispute with the credit bureaus to no avail. My credit is ruined, I have to pay double digit interest to buy a car, I have to rent because I can’t buy, because the CFPB and the credit lords choose to turn a blind eye to the lender’s fraudulent activities and lies. Fair Credit Reporting denied in spite of documented proof.

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