By the IndyBar Paralegal Committee
On May 30, 2013, the IndyBar Paralegal Committee sponsored a CLE seminar presented by G. John Cento of Cento Law, LLC on Creditors Rights. The objective of the seminar was to provide an oversight of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the reporting of accurate and inaccurate information on consumer credit reports by the consumer reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) and what remedy provisions are provided.
Credit Reports are used to establish consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes or employment purposes. The Consumer Report bears on credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living.
The different credit “players” are:
- Consumer Reporting Agency – any person who furnishes a Consumer Report to third parties. The three largest Consumer Reporting Agencies are Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
- Furnisher – any person that provides consumer credit information to a Consumer Reporting Agency. Some examples of furnishers are Capital One, American Express, Chase Bank, Kohl’s and Collection Agencies.
- Public Information Vendor – collects and then reports public information such as judgments, releases, lien.
- Reseller – they obtain and then resell consumer credit information which they have received from another Consumer Reporting Agency.
- Scoring Entity – FICO Credit Score provided by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. They all three offer competing scoring models for your credit score.
Consumer Reporting Agencies must provide a consumer with an update on any investigation/result of a disputed item on their report. They also have a duty to correct and update information. The consumer must initiate the process of any dispute.
A useful tip provided was to obtain your free credit report once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com.