Credit Bureau Nightmares: Victims Speak Out
By Consumers Union on Monday, September 29th, 1997
Credit Bureau Nightmares Victims Speak Out
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Mr. Clem, who resides in Denver, Colorado, works in the state’s Department of Public Safety administering their regional crime/community policing initiative. He had four separate run-ins with inaccurate credit bureau reports. His beef is third party access to reports, which one time allowed someone to tamper with his file. One time his report showed that a store canceled his account, even though he never had the account and the store had gone out of business. Another time, he believes himself a victim of a scam where someone changed the billing address on his credit cards to an address in San Diego, California ordered new cards and charged thousands of dollars to his account, giving him late fees and a bad payment history without his knowing it. He has continued trouble communicating with credit bureaus which he says don’t even answer routine correspondence.
Ms. Daniels, a resident of Gaithersburg, Maryland, at one time found her credit bureau report inaccurately showed a mortgage account in bankruptcy. Despite producing a letter from the mortgage company to the credit bureau instructing them to remove the notation, it took her three years to correct the problem. While she was pressing for a correction she was denied credit several times.
Mr. Evans, who lives in Englewood, Colorado, says TRW cleared up his report and he has also had trouble with Trans Union. His reports indicated he was delinquent on an account when he was not. His troubles began shortly after moving to Colorado from Los Angeles, California eight years ago. Another individual who shared his name and middle initial from LA ran his credit cards to the max and then disappeared. Bill collectors found the Colorado-based Evans through a change of address search for the deadbeat Evans from LA, a common tactic used by bill collectors. The Colorado-based Evans was harassed by bill collectors for six months straight before it was cleared up.
A resident of Frederick, Maryland, Ms. Benner found settlement on a new home thrown into jepordy the day before settlement when a bank she switched to at the last minute “screamed at her” about “her” four loans totaling over $100,000. She later found out that the account number listed on her report was non-existent. The credit bureau, UCB of Glen Ellen, Illinois, told her to write a letter but later decided to help clear the fog. The clerk determined that the four loan holders listed on her report were all mistakes. This error contributed to a week’s delay in the settlement. To obtain the mortgage, she ended up paying an additional point.