Credit bureaus to get new scrutiny

Credit bureaus to get new scrutiny from federal government

When all that Wall Street reform legislation was in the works in Washington D.C., maybe you wondered, what's in it for me? Well, if you have you ever suffered because of bad information on a credit report and had tremendous difficulty trying to get it removed or corrected you'll be happy to know finally, someone is going to start scrutinizing the country's three major credit bureaus.

Starting September 30th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will start monitoring the country's big credit bureaus and conduct on-site examinations to see if these companies are complying with the law. It's similar to what the CFPB already does with the nation's big banks.

Consumer advocates say it's the first time the federal government will actively work to clean up an industry that has a reputation for sloppiness and arrogance.

Getting a credit bureau to fix an error on your credit report can be exasperating for consumers who feel like they are David and the credit reporting companies are Goliath.

Most Americans require credit to make big purchases in life whether it 's a home or a new car. And in order to get a decent interest rate, you have to have a good credit score. But what if your credit score takes a hit through no fault of your own. Mike Fraser with Progressive Moorage has a client right now who may not get her home loan because a collection agency sold a debt. "So the company they sold it to, by the time they processed it in March of 2012, it showed as a late on her credit report. Well one late like that on a credit report can pull your score down 100 points," said Fraser.

As a mortgage broker, Fraser makes a career out of helping people achieve the American dream of home ownership. And he knows first hand it's often futile to get a credit reporting agency to fix an error repair a report. "You call and you call and you call and nothing ever happens. Well, yeah, we're going to take care of that for you and nothing happens. Honest, hard working people, at a certain point, after trying to get this done for a year or get in touch with somebody or somebody to help them. I mean they get to a certain point and they just give up," said Fraser.

He's optimistic the new scrutiny by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will help make sure it works the way it should for consumers and lenders. "Now what they're going to do with all these complaints, this bureau is going to file all these complaints and they're going to have to answer them. And maybe, it will shorten the amount of time, if someone has a credit issue, and we can help them repair their credit and it won't take so long," said Fraser.

The bureau is expected to enforce laws already on the books and write new ones as needed.

Starting September 30, the bureau will monitor the country's big credit bureaus and do on-site examinations to see if they comply with the law. For links to the agency and how to make complaints click here.

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