Post Number: 1153
|Posted on Sunday, July 27, 2003 - 07:42 pm: ||
I've been noticing that often addresses change on credit reports, one client just could NOT get her address PERMANENTLY corrected. She didn't care that her dispute results and reports were delivered to her landlady who eventually stopped by to hand her the credit reports or investigation results.
I remember clients having problems with investigation results a few times after they moved, but nobody was particularly concerned. But recently a client didn't receive his results for his CSC (Equifax affiliate) disputes and except for Equifax his credit is actually quite good. He had just bought his first home and contacted me to help improve his credit scores as he was about to get a score rated equity loan.
Apparently Equifax verified some of the disputed accounts, but we really don't know what they did because we don't have any results.
He tried to order a copy of the dispute results from CSC, but they told him that he needed to purchase a new report. So I got involved.
I spoke with Maria Caffrey at CSC and it took a tremendous effort to get her last name. Supervisors weren't available, she gave me the # to fax the Power of Attorney to and told me that nobody would TALK to me because I'm not an attorney. Only attorneys get to talk to their legal department.
Of course that makes you wonder what the power of attorney is for - I can send WRITTEN communications under my client's name, I don't need a power of attorney to write.
I faxed my specific request on 7/11:
"On April 28, 2003, you received my client’s disputes, but to date he has not received your investigation results.
Please fax your investigation results ASAP to 571-222-1000."
They faxed nothing.
On 7/15 I called again and spoke with Destiny:
She would not discuss the file with me, but they had received my fax, and finally she told me that the dispute results had been sent to his OLD address. Of course my client had a forwarding order with the postal service, but he didn't receive the results.
CSC was not the least bit concerned about sending a credit report with ALL my client's personal identifying information to an incorrect address.
I asked to speak with a supervisor and got Ms. Dalton, a "lead":
She explained that they always send reports to the address on file, even when the consumer's NEW address on his dispute.
When I asked her WHY they would do such a thing, she asked whether my client had sent proof of the new address to them. I told her no, and there is no requirement to do so. They certainly had no right to willfully subject my client to identity theft.
I asked her who she thought was in possession of my client's results, she of course didn't know, nor did she care.
I told her about my federal suit for a PIN, and that I would like to discuss their procedures with their legal department. As per Equifax's many obnoxious advertisements for their credit monitoring services by, ID theft is the fastest growing crime in the US, according to the FBI.
All bureaus LOVE ID theft, they prey on consumers' fears and it's the cash cow of the decade.
I advised my client to "opt out" of the promos, as a first reported mortgage usually comes with credit card pre-approvals.
I don't think I need to explain the potential for major problems when credit card pre-approvals get into the wrong hands.
So I looked up at the FTC how to opt out, and I found out that the pre-approvals often aren't sent out for several months. That means that a pre-approval based on his credit a week earlier could be mailed out to the OLD address in several months!
Because every credit application comes with a credit score lowering inquiry, I always recommend opting in and waiting for pre-approved offers.
Once you opted out, you're not going to get those 0% balance transfer offers since creditors can't access your credit files.
So in addition to having all that hassle and still no investigation results, my client is missing out on many opportunities, costing him serious cash.
My next project is finding out whether my client and everybody who moved or has possibly a creditor with an incorrect address should get a fraud alert. I believe that fraud alerts are damaging to consumers, it's a lot like requiring a victim of rape to have a sign taped to the forehead reading: I've been raped and I went to the police, so don't mess with me."
I'll have to find out what EXACTLY happens when you have a fraud alert.
Apparently CSC screwed up just about everything. It looks like Midland had the account deleted in May, but CSC "forgot" to delete it.
CSC also "forgot" to investigate the Discover dispute.
CSC mailed credit reports to the OLD address, willfully and maliciously.
And while my client opted out of promos in July, there are numerous new PROMO inquiries on the latest report.
Of course this outrageous incompetence is easily explained by the fact that CSC is a CRA and the FTC acts as if on the CRA payroll.