Blumenthal Calls on Credit Reporting Bureaus to Explain Reports of “V.I.P.” Lists

Blumenthal Calls on Credit Reporting Bureaus to Explain Reports of “V.I.P.” Lists

Monday, May 16, 2011

(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today wrote to the heads of the three major credit reporting bureaus – Equifax Inc., Experian, and TransUnion – to call on them to respond to recent reports that they maintain V.I.P. member lists, in which errors and disputes are resolved faster and with more attention than other consumers.

“I am deeply troubled by the implication that your companies are neglecting the majority of consumers and providing preferential treatment for wealthy, famous, or well-connected persons, and I ask you to confirm or deny these reports and provide more information on your dispute resolution process,” writes Blumenthal in the letter. “An error-free credit report is vital to a consumer’s financial health, and consumers must be able to quickly resolve disputes and mistakes with the cooperation of the credit reporting bureau. Every consumer deserves this cooperation, not just the rich and powerful.”

In the letter, Blumenthal also calls on the bureau executives to answer a number of questions, such as describing their process for resolving consumer disputes, how services offered to those on any existing V.I.P. lists differ from the services offered to the majority of consumers, how the companies may determine whether a consumer should receive preferential treatment, and whether consumers are aware of placement on such a list.

The text of the letter follows:

Richard F. Smith
Chairman and CEO
Equifax Inc.
1550 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309

Don Robert
CEO
Experian
475 Anton Boulevard
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Siddarth N. Mehta
President and CEO
TransUnion
555 W. Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661

Dear Mr. Smith, Mr. Robert, and Mr. Mehta:

I am writing regarding reports that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion maintain a separate system for so-called V.I.P. members, in which errors and disputes are resolved faster and with more attention than other consumers. I am deeply troubled by the implication that your companies are neglecting the majority of consumers and providing preferential treatment for wealthy, famous, or well-connected persons, and I ask you to confirm or deny these reports and provide more information on your dispute resolution process.

According to recent reports, most consumers who wish to resolve errors or disputes on their credit reports do so via an automated system and outsourced customer support. An elite group of consumers, however, “get special help from workers in the United States in fixing mistakes on their credit reports. Any errors are usually corrected immediately,” according to one report.[1] Experian appears to be the only company that explicitly denied employing a V.I.P. list, although other sources quoted in the article disputed this claim.

A consumer’s credit history has a critical impact on his ability to open a credit card or obtain a loan for a major purchase such as a house or car. Some employers even review a potential employee’s credit history when making hiring decisions. An error-free credit report is vital to a consumer’s financial health, and consumers must be able to quickly resolve disputes and mistakes with the cooperation of the credit reporting bureau. Every consumer deserves this cooperation, not just the rich and powerful.

I ask that you answer the following questions:

  • Please describe your process for resolving consumer disputes.
  • Does your company maintain a V.I.P. list of consumers who receive special consideration, or are all consumers treated equally?
  • If your company does offer a V.I.P. list, how do the services offered to these consumers differ from the services offered to the majority of consumers?
  • If your company does offer a V.I.P. list, how does your company determine whether a consumer should receive preferential treatment?
  • If your company does offer a V.I.P. list, are consumers on that list aware of placement on such list?
  • What percentage of your company’s reports contain potential errors? What percentage contain serious errors?
  • On average, how long does it take your company to resolve an error once a consumer has disputed an item on the consumer’s credit report? If your company maintains a V.I.P. list, please list the average time for a consumer on that list, as well.

I appreciate your prompt response.

Sincerely,

/s/

Senator Richard Blumenthal

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4closureFraud.org

Comments
6 Responses to “Blumenthal Calls on Credit Reporting Bureaus to Explain Reports of “V.I.P.” Lists”
  1. Fury says:

    credit reports and ratings are all part of the bank ripoffs.

    it is all part of the scam.

    online mortgage payment sites that mysteriously go down for “maintenance” when you are trying to make
    a timely payment?

    you know, homeowners talk about these things and share our experiences.

    it is all a corrupt mess.

  2. see says:

    Screw credit reports. I agree with Pamela they will deny everything and I bet there will be no investigations to see if the credit bureaus are telling the truth. What a joke. The US is kept captive by credit scores. Was listening to a radio talk show the other day. This guy was talking about millions of US citizens leaving the country to live elsewhere to start over. He talked about how the people here were so addicted to credit and their credit scores. What good did having a good credit score for millions of hard working people. All that was intentional-screw people up financially. We all know the wealthy and the powerful have always gotten special treatment. No surpirse here. They will take a creditors side in a dispute with no second thoughts. My credit score is in the toilet and I don’t care. I did all the right things, worked hard, paid my taxes, gave to charity until everything fell apart. I will not get another credit card, buy a car with a loan, or own a home again. To put your human value in a credit score is mindless.

  3. Pamela says:

    Okay nice try but do you really think they are just going to answer questions and fessup.Really?I don’t think so!!!ROFLMAO if this gentleman really believes he can pull this one off.I wait with breathless anticipation to hear thier response to his little letter.

  4. AliceN.Wunderland says:

    Well this is a new one on me. I now understand why they went with the FICO score, it didn’t make sense to me. When I was doing loans we reviewed the written credit report and worked with borrowers to clean up any problems. We ordered one credit report and it was totally illegal to order two and use the best one.

    When FICO scores were introduced it became impossible to clean up credit and that is exactly what the ponzi scheme required…bad scores for the bad loans..but not ‘too bad’ FICO scores. Three or four years ago I was talking to a realtor friend about credit scores and he told me that there were companies for hire that would clean up your credit report. I thought that was insane and I knew illegal but that is how it is done now. Pay a few bucks and have your credit score fixed, that was probably used on the really low scores as they had to be somewhat legitimate for the scam. I don’t remember how much he said it cost but I am sure the cost has increased a great deal now.

    So they have a VIP list, wonder how much that costs, do they pay an annual fee or monthly fee. Do they pay each reporting agency separately or is there a company that is charge of it all, a middle man, probably a middle man….so much money to be made…and the billionaires won’t even notice or they will write if off as a company expense like their ‘entertainment.’

  5. Readdocs says:

    Well yeah, they will all be anxious to give up the guilt of being caught flat footed, and red handed.
    Sure.

  6. LUCY says:

    Ill confess now! I wont be on the list!

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