Noted financial advisor Jeffrey Small joined us today to talk about the CFPB bureaus gift of higher scores for millions of consumers. Are they really better off? The three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, are starting a new policy on July 1 that will raise about 12 million consumers’ credit scores. On that date, the agencies will begin collecting more specific information about the public records that are included on credit reports, including bankruptcies, civil judgments and tax liens — which means consumers won’t be penalized as severely as they previously were for those black marks on their credit histories. On average, consumers’ scores will increase 10 points, according to an analysis by VantageScore Solutions, a credit scoring company. Under the new rule, the agencies will at least have to report the consumer’s name, address, Social Security number and/or date of birth, and must satisfy a requirement of visiting courthouses to obtain newly filed and updated public records at least every 90 days. The agencies already met those enhanced standards for bankruptcy records, according to the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade organization. But for civil judgments, and about half of tax liens, they did not. Some tax liens that meet the enhanced reporting standards will stay on consumers’ reports, but all civil judgments will be removed because they do not meet the new standards. Consumers do not have to take any action to have the records removed, and they should see the change on their credit report “soon after” July 1, according to the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade organization.
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