Post Number: 1255
|Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 03:34 am: ||
III. FRAUD AND MISREPRESENTATION
(From my 8/12/03 CIC Responsive Memorandum)
At their web site ConsumerInfo.com advertises (Exhibit G-1):
"Get the MOST complete credit INFORMATION available!" and " Now includes your FREE Credit Score with personalized analysis"
Because the free score is for Equifax, plaintiff ordered the Experian score for $5 (Exhibit H, pg. 16-18) and plaintiff also ordered the reports with the scores from CreditExpert (Exhibit I) and Fair Isaac (Exhibit K) on 8/9/03. The resulting scores:
Experian CreditXpert score, 8/9/03 ConsumerInfo.com tri-merged report: 701 - 6.152%
Experian credit score, 8/9/03 CreditExpert report: 681 - 6.689%
Experian FICO score, 8/9/03 Fair Isaac report: 659 - 7.839%
The corresponding interest rates were obtained from the “Credit Education” page 8/10/03 at the myFICO site. (Exhibit K-2)
Fair Isaac states that their scores are used in 75% of all credit decisions (Exh. K-1, p.1)
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and most mortgage programs other than VA and FHA are rated according to FICO scores – not according to a Experian, CreditXpert, Trans Union or any other score.
The difference in interest for a 701 score and a 659 score over the life of a 30-year $200,000 mortgage (according to the myFICO 8/10/03 rate quote) is over $80,000
There is absolutely no reason for any consumer to purchase or review credit scores other than FICO scores. While plaintiff has issues with the composition of the FICO scores, she does recommend that consumers looking for a mortgage or car loan purchase their FICO scores and take the steps required to improve those FICO scores prior to applying, if necessary. Because improving consumers’ credit scores is plaintiff’s business, she knows that consumers have NO idea that the snake oil scores sold by ConsumerInfo.com, CreditExpert and Trans Union have nothing at all to do with the FICO scores.
Many times clients and readers had followed the advice provided with the Trans Union, Experian and CreditXpert scores, resulting in lower FICO scores and often irreversible damages. Once an account has been closed, it can’t be re-opened for FICO scoring purposes. The creditor may reopen the account, but it will be reported as a new account and lower the scores even more. Once a new account has been opened, it can not be removed from the credit reports and closing it will still leave the inquiry and the new account on the reports. Of course the inquiry and the new account usually lower FICO scores again.
Due to the extreme complexity of credit scores, plaintiff could attach literally hundreds of documents to show how destructive the fraudulent credit scores sold by ConsumerInfo.com are to the “real” FICO scores. The explanations and recommendations for the many different scores vary greatly, and ConsumerInfo.com fails to disclose that lenders do not use these scores and that following their recommendations can cause the FICO scores to be lowered.
Plaintiff attached the credit scoring information available at CreditExpert.com (Exhibits I-3,4,5), at ConsumerInfo.com (Exhibits G-3,4) and at myFICO.com (Exhibit K.) Obviously, myFICO has the most detailed information, although not everything is accurate. Plaintiff limits her quotes from the attached credit scoring material to an excerpt from the ConsumerInfo.com tri-merged report with the 701 CreditXpert Experian score. From the “Personalized Score Analysis” on page 16:
“Thanks to your high CreditXpert Credit Score(tm), you should not have much difficulty getting some of the better loan offers available from lenders, whether an auto, a mortgage, or a personal loan.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When plaintiff had previously requested a refund for the incomplete and incorrect report and the fraudulent score she had purchased, ConsumerInfo.com declined to issue a refund.
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