Credit Agencies Working To Keep Your Info Available Far And Wide

from the that's-their-business dept

It's no surprise at all that the big credit reporting agencies are pushing hard to get new laws put in place that would wipe out certain state laws that try to give consumers more control over their credit reports. At one end, the credit agencies do have a legitimate argument: having fifty different state laws, each of which with very different requirements, is a bureaucratic nightmare. Standardizing any law across all fifty states makes sense. However, the details suggest that the state-by-state issue is the least of the credit firms real worries -- and they're actually hoping to use the law to stop people from being able to "lock" their own credit reports (which some recent state laws allow). The agencies are worried, of course, that locked credit reports will greatly harm their business -- and they could be right. However, this wouldn't be such an issue if the agencies had done a better job protecting people's information in the first place. Remember, of course, this is the same industry that last year claimed it was "un-American" to let people know what info the agencies had on themselves, in order to make sure it was accurate. So far, these agencies have shown little action in really protecting people, and so it's tough to take their reasons for pushing this legislation at face value.


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  1.  
    identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    say what?

    Standardizing any law across all fifty states makes sense.
    Hey, there's a reason why they are separate, "sovereign" (as the constitution says) states. People get to make their own laws the way they want them (at least in theory). Otherwise why even have the state legislatures or city councils? I'm in business (in a very heavily regulated industry) and I figure that the cost of complying with the laws of the various jurisdictions (US states and different countries) is just a cost of doing business.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:34am

    This is what the world is coming to...at least in the states. These companies shouldn't have the power that they do now. If I want information on myself that someone else has, there should be no problem in getting it anytime I want so I can make sure its secure

     

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  3.  
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    Lee, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:46am

    We are loosing to much freedom in a free country!

    I just corrected many errors on my three reports. I don't want to give that up. Where do they get off with FREE credit reports? They each charged me around $10:00 dollars each to correct someones errors.

     

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  4.  
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    ELS, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:55am

    It's really simple. If they get it wrong, if they have inaccurate information about you which they in turn they disseminate, you should be able to sue them under the libel and slander laws.

     

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  5.  
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    Scott, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 5:59am

    Re: say what?

    We have many laws that cover all 50 states, states are sovereign to a point.

    Where as credit has become one of, if not the most important factors in determining what you can and can not do, there should not be 50 standards.

     

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  6.  
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    elaine, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 6:52am

    This kind of proposition should stop because in my opinion, it is a form of human rights violation. Consumers should have more control over their accounts because after all, it is their money. There are circumstances showing that these companies often harass their consumers. Imagine what it can do once they have the "legal" abilities to do so.

     

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  7.  
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    Dosquatch, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:14am

    C'mon, Mike

    So far, these agencies have shown little action in really protecting people,

    You expect anything different? Credit Reporting Agencies have never even vaguely entertained the idea of protecting people. Their charter mission is protecting business interests from people. But you already knew that, didn't you?

     

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  8.  
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    Dave, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:55am

    Re:

    I agree with you. They should be held accountable for the accuracy of the information they compile. They should be mandated to do checks and balances on all information they publish before it goes in your credit report.

     

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  9.  
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    Vik, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:56am

    Privacy is a right to be let alone

    It is your identity that is in question. The credit report holds your information. You should be able to lock down the identity accross all credit reporting agencies. Also a person should be able to lock down all his assets, why just a credit report, why not credit cards, debit cards, and brokerage accounts. More time and energy is spent in cleaning up the credit report. This hampers in making new purchases, because the lenders dont care that you have had theft comitted against you. They are just looking for a good score.

    V.
    http://www.idovos.com

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Vik, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 7:57am

    Privacy is a right to be let alone

    It is your identity that is in question. The credit report holds your information. You should be able to lock down the identity accross all credit reporting agencies. Also a person should be able to lock down all his assets, why just a credit report, why not credit cards, debit cards, and brokerage accounts. More time and energy is spent in cleaning up the credit report. This hampers in making new purchases, because the lenders dont care that you have had theft comitted against you. They are just looking for a good score.

    V.
    http://www.idovos.com

     

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  11.  
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    Tyshaun, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 8:22am

    I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I've always believed that the credit bureaus should be taken over by the feds. Given the fact that credit is used for just about everything (you can't even rent a hotel room at most decent places without a credit card nowadays), it seems to me that this information shouldn't be left in the hands of an organization that clearly has no intentions of being responsive to consumers (like someone said, the reason for credit bureaus is to protect business). Not that the government will be so much better, but at least we have a chance that the bureacracy will be equally annoying to corporations and invdividuals. I had a credit card stolen a couple of years ago and it annoys me that one of the negative entries is still on my credit report with one of the bureaus and I have had to retain an attorney to get that information removed!

    I'm about ready to go back to the days of exchanging beads and shells for services!

     

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  12.  
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    ocdude, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 9:00am

    Re: We are loosing to much freedom in a free count

    ahem...it's spelled, "losing"

     

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  13.  
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    Chuck, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 10:54am

    Guilty of bad credit until proven worthy

    Tyshaun, I agree with you. No flames here.

    I feel that the reporting agencies have too much freedom in deciding what data they can store and for how long they can store it. I have some privacy issues with that. And I don't think that it's American that people start out with poor credit until proven credit worthy. Credit should be more like a driving record, held for 3 years and no tickets or accidents ensure that you get the good rates. You should also be able to go to a school to remove problems with credit scores.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 10:59am

    Theives

    Cerdit agencies are in bed with the rest of the financial industry. They are a bunch of theives with suits on. Many Credit aganecies are also in the business of collections....Did I hear someone say "conflict of interest" , but they are allowed to get away with it. You see....in the end they will get what they want becasue like the banks they have both sides of the aisle in their pockets, and we all lose. Banks, credit card companies, credit agancies are all out to bleed you dry of every last cent you have and make your life a miserable hell, so the executives of said instituions can live in 10 million dollar mansions and drive fancy cars. You think I'm kidding or exagerating? Do your own research....follow the money. Fight them, dispute everything on your credit report once a month, make it hell for them. They want to be in the business but they don't want it to be hard....boo hoo hoo, I'm cryng wet tears for them.

    There is no such thing as privacy any more. If the gov't needs a little leeway to find terrorists....fine. But what will happen is private industry will find a way to worm into that, and invade your privacy.

    Ant this to the guy who said turn it over to the feds.....bwa ha ha ha ha ha! are you kidding me or what? You just MUST be joking right?

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Hero, Mar 20th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    State Laws

    At one end, the credit agencies do have a legitimate argument: having fifty different state laws, each of which with very different requirements, is a bureaucratic nightmare. Standardizing any law across all fifty states makes sense.
    By that reasoning we should replace almost all state laws with national laws to eliminate the "nightmare" of differing state laws people face when traveling from one state to another. And then we should replace national laws with international ones to eliminate the nightmares individuals face when traveling between countries.

     

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  16.  
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    Zeroth404, Mar 21st, 2006 @ 7:09am

    I find it strange that a company can refuse their services just because you've missed some bills on the past to other companies.

    Credit Discrimination, anyone?

    No, I don't actually believe that. But it raises an interesting issue.

     

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  17.  
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    bm, Mar 29th, 2006 @ 4:20am

    change the federal law

    i totally agree. i think it makes more sense to have one federal law. for a long time each state had their own law about getting a free credit report and now it's just one federal law with one simple process. basically, i think this new law needs to be changed to work like the ones the states have in place. this petition seems to start getting at it problem, though i'm not sure it will force a change.

    www.securemycreditreport.org

     

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  18.  
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    Tom Haines, Apr 3rd, 2006 @ 7:14pm

    Credit Freeze Services

    just tried the service mentioned in that NYT article, IDFreeze , from www.trustedid.com and it seems to work pretty well. I'm sure these guys could build a big business if peopel get smart about freezing their credit reports to the bastards at the credit bureaus can't sell the info whenever they want.

     

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  19.  
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    JOHN COX, Apr 4th, 2006 @ 3:57pm

    LOOK I JUST TRY TO GET MY CREDIT REPORT AND THEY WAS TO GIVE MY A E.MAIL BACK TELLIN ME WHERE TO GO ON LINE TO SEE IT AND THEY DID NOT SEND ME ONE.

     

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