Post Number: 8
|Posted on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 12:16 pm: ||
I wanted to post this, wasn't sure where. It is off the www.CAR.org website. CAR is asking REALTORS to send them some client "horror stories" to be used to back this bill. I wonder if they would be interested in my WFHM or AmeriCredit, or your Pacific Bell or American Agencies, Christine?! I hope together all of we consumers can change this evil, corrupt credit industry!
Media contact: Mark Giberson, C.A.R. (213) 739-8304
Tuesday, March 4, 2003
"Truth in Credit Act" to protect consumers from
false information on credit reports
Legislation will force creditors, credit-collection companies
to correct inaccurate information or face the consequences
SACRAMENTO (March 4) – Assemblymember Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) has introduced AB 800, the Truth in Credit Act, cosponsored by the California Association of REALTORS® and Consumers Union. The legislation seeks to force creditors and credit-collection companies to correct inaccurate information or face statutory damages.
"Today, inaccurate or false information on a credit report is often a stumbling block for California families when purchasing a home," said C.A.R. President Toby Bradley. "Homebuyers can fall out of escrow while waiting for creditors and credit collection companies to correct mistakes, or can be forced to accept a more expensive loan rate because of inaccurate information on a credit report.
"Assemblymember Kehoe's bill, which C.A.R. is proud to cosponsor along with Consumers Union, will attempt to remedy the problem by requiring creditors and credit-collection companies to stop reconfirming inaccurate information that has been disputed by a consumer," she said.
AB 800 will change the standard for creditors who furnish information to credit-reporting agencies. Current state law prohibits creditors from reporting adverse credit data to the credit-reporting agencies if the creditor knows -- or should know -- that the information is inaccurate or incomplete. AB 800 increases the obligation of creditors to give only accurate information. It permits creditors to furnish information about a consumer to a credit-reporting agency only if the creditor has reason to believe that the information is accurate and complete. This means that creditors will need to check their records before sending information to the credit bureaus.
"Inaccurate information in a credit file can deprive consumers of credit, housing, and even employment, or can increase the price of credit. AB 800 will improve the quality of credit records by requiring creditors to be more careful in the information they submit and in the way that they handle requests to correct credit information," said Gail Hillebrand, senior attorney for the West Coast Regional Office of Consumers Union.
Current state law only requires the creditor to complete an investigation about disputed information and report it to the credit-reporting agency within 30 days upon receipt of the notice of dispute. AB 800, on the other hand, provides that the creditor must:
review the information;
correct any inaccurate information; and
report to the credit-reporting agency the results of the investigation and any corrected information.
The legislation also makes it a violation of law for the creditor to confirm inaccurate information after the investigation. AB 800 strengthens the ability of consumers to recover damages from creditors that violate the act. If there is a negligent or willful violation, statutory damages of not less than $2,500 would be available to the consumer.
"No homebuyer should ever lose the purchase of a family home because of an inaccurate credit report," said Kehoe. "It should not be that difficult to assure that credit reports are accurate or to correct human error mistakes on a credit report."
Bill Powers, representing the California Congress of Seniors, and Lenny Goldberg, representing the Privacy Rights Clearing House, also voiced their support for AB 800 at a news conference in Sacramento today.
Consumers Union, publisher of "Consumer Reports," is a nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the consumer. Consumers Union is a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, Consumers Union's mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.
The California Association of REALTORS® (http://www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 115,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.