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Will new credit reporting rules boost accuracy and reduce errors?

For those who wage an ongoing battle with bad credit, help may be on the way. If you are dealing with unpaid taxes, doctor bills and judgments, you may not only receive much needed protections, but also a significant boost in your overall credit score.

Equifax, Experian and Transunion’s joint National Consumer Assistance Plan is the result of a 2015 settlement between the three major credit bureaus and 31 state attorneys general. The objective is to improve accuracy of credit reporting and provide consumers with much-needed transparency.

As of July 1, public tax liens and civil judgment data not conforming to the new reporting standards will be excluded on credit reports. Verification going forward requires that data include the consumer’s name, address, and Social security number or date of birth. In addition, public records must be continually verified at least every 90 days by actually visiting a courthouse.

By September 15, collection firms and companies that furnish data must also change their methods of reporting consumer medical debts and personal information. On that date, past-due balances less than 180 days old are not to be included on credit reports.

In spite of credit bureaus citing improvements in accuracy and dispute handling, credit reporting seems to be continually rife with errors. Those mistakes have prevented consumers from being approved for credit and resulted in nearly 186,000 complaints as of February 2017. Seventy-six percent involved incorrect information.

Concerns surround the newly painted picture of creditors that lenders and renters will see. Is it an accurate depiction or does it suppress much needed information on tax liens and civil judgments? Does it hide the true risk taken in providing consumers credit, housing or other perks that come with a higher FICO score?

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William T. Peckham
1104 Nueces Street, Suite 104
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512-487-7604
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