16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures
Obtaining my free credit report and that for my wife has been a major problem. It's been 48 weeks since we started to get the free reports for my wife and to this date we have had no success. The websites keep dumping her entries out and prevent us from moving forward. We have even tried paying for her report with no success. What's worse than trying to get the report is making corrections. Once someone inaccurately reports that you owe them something, they are not required even provide a telephone number where you can call them. Yes, you can post that you dispute the false claim, but their claim is still held against you. By way of example, all three credit agencies are reporting that I owe Verizon Wireless over $500. Verizon Wireless is not even available around here. I've never even contacted them (why would I if they don't service where I live). I have filed disputes and it shows as such on my report and Verizon Wirelss has responded that they have written off the debt, but it still appears on my report and it still lowers my credit score. It's not possible to talk to a human being at some of these agencies. You can mail something to them and you never hear back. What we have is a system where someone can claim you are guilty and you have no way of proving you are innocent. Someone else that I have never heard of claims that I owe them $57 and they have filed it not once but twice. When I contact the three credit report agencies they have no phone number for the company they have accepted the information from. All of the companies are eager to sell you their products. Some make it near impossible to get to their websites without being sold something. The credit reporting agencies have their hands in everyone's pockets. It's not a fair and equal system. Even if you do get a free report or three what does it get you? Now all you know is that the agencies are making a great deal of money spreading false information about you. Why is this different from going to court and have your accuser's claims read to you by a third party, yet the accuser need not appear and you are not aloud to speak to defend yourself? Isn't this similar to a court where no judge or jury is present? Or, is the FTC the overseer of the system who has failed to police what it has the sworn duty to protect: that the American citizens are to be treated fairly and are allowed full recourse when someone is making money by spreading lies about them. The FTC has failed on many levels. They have allowed three companies to make a great deal of money by falsely accusing people. This year I spent $500 in legal fees to have a $3,500 judgement removed against me that Transunion was reporting. I had not personally done business with the accuser and my name was not even spelled correctly, yet Transunion continued to report the false information until I took legal action. Transunion would not speak to me until I paid them $9.95 a month. The only way I found out that a claim was made against me was when a bank refused to raise my credit limit and took a few weeks to mail me a letter explaining that it was Transunion that was reporting this. It then took almost 30 days until Transunion mailed me who the accuser was. What if I did not have the financial means to take these steps? How do those who are less fortunate combat this? What if you got a free credit report on October 1, 2009 and there's a false accusation filed against you on October 2nd? Must you now wait until October 1, 2010 to see who the accuser is? The only way around it is to pay to see your report more often. What the FTC has created is a system by which those who have money can make a muted and ineffective effort to repair their credit and those who cannot afford to can be dragged down further by false accusations. It allows the credit reporting agencies to dig deeper into the pockets of the American public.