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Credit agencies announce material reporting changes, Part 2

Our immediately preceding blog post touched upon a fundamental and troubling aspect relevant to credit-related information that is collected and evaluated by mega-sized reporting agencies. The data apply to all Americans as consumers and, as we noted in our March 22 entry, sometimes contain "incorrect information that hurts your score and renders you less attractive to lenders."

The Big Three credit reporting entities -- TransUnion, Experian and Equifax -- recently announced their intent to level the playing field a bit for consumers who are vulnerable to such errors (candidly, that is all of us), by putting the onus for accuracy squarely upon the entities that are reporting adverse data.

In other words: If information that is reported isn't fully responsive to what the agencies will soon be insisting upon, it simply won't make it into a consumer's personal files.

Now, some of our readers in Arkansas and elsewhere might reasonably regard that news as decidedly underwhelming. Indeed, isn't that how things should work, and routinely so?

Probably so, but legions of credit report scores have been unfairly marred for years by incomplete data that turns out to be flatly wrong in some respects.

Starting July 1, notes a recent Forbes article, the Big Three will insist -- as least as regards data relevant to tax liens and civil debts -- that any adverse information being reported be accompanied by "a customer's name, address and Social Security number or date of birth."

That means no more partial entries. No more "sloppiness." The burden of proof going forward will now be on data reporters rather than on consumers forced to respond to negative information already appearing in their records.

A slide toward debt problems often owes to multiple factors working together for individuals and families in Arkansas and elsewhere. Medical debt is often an issue. A lost job or underemployment is an obviously contributing factor to financial woes.

And false information in that very important credit report can certainly spell a major downside for any consumer.

Questions or concerns regarding debt problems and steep financial challenges can be addressed to a proven debt-relief attorney. Experienced legal counsel will look at every relevant factor in the debt picture -- including credit report information -- en route to crafting a tailored and purposeful strategy aimed at regaining economic traction and a fresh financial start.

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