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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308881  
Subject: Re: Dangers Of An Under Regulated Credit Industr Date: 7/17/2012 3:27 PM
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Seeing as how the CRA themselves is not 1st-person privy to the information they get, it is in my opinion unreasonable to ask them to prove up the information they DO get from the 1st-person party.

Except where they are taking the action to link new data to an existing record. They are taking the role of matching the identify of new data to the data the already have on record for that identity, and when they are lax in doing so, they should be responsible for fixing and preventing mistakes.

The problem is that the CRA's take the position that they don't care if they make a mistake. It's always someone else's problem. If you are going to be the great accumulator of personal information, I believe you have to take responsibility for making sure make reasonable effort to make sure that the relationship between an existing record and new data is exact and not just good enough. If it is not an exact match, perhaps it should be kicked to an analyst for further review, or sent back to the source for clarification.

It SHOULD be hard to get your file changed. Otherwise everybody with bad marks would call in and claim they never missed a payment.

If they didn't miss a payment, then it should be corrected. But I am not talking about trying to change the data reported by the data sources, only the assignment of that data to existing records. John Smith and John Smythe are not the same person, or is Sara Cortez and Sarah Cortas. Especially if the social security numbers do not match. This is just laziness on the part of the CRAs.

Frankly, if I was a customer of the CRAs, such as the dealership, I would be incensed that I could not depend on the information I am paying for to be a reliable picture of the customer with whom I want to do business.

I can only conclude that the CRA's should be required to include exactly and only that info they get from reporting companies, and that the 1st-party reporting companies be required to give correct info in the first place. I also conclude that no matter the regulations surrounding this process, some recording errors will be made. And I accept that it will be a pain in the arse to get them corrected. There can be no other readily implemented methodology.

Again, my dispute is not with the data sources. If someone provides incorrect data, the consumer SHOULD be notified who that source is and given a reasonable path to address the issue with them. And that source must be required to be responsive to the consumer and correct information that is in fact wrong, or provide documentation justifying the inclusion of information that is just disagreeable.

My problem is with the careless way in which the data is connected and brought together. There has to be a better way to ensure that new data is correctly attached to the right records. In this case, it wasn't that the government provided incorrect data but that TransUnion incorrectly matched it to the plaintiff's account record. Despite the name being only remotely related, and I expect most other information not matching as well (though admittedly I do not know what other information there was other than the name).

The only reasonable way to have no weaknesses in the system is to abandon the system. It is my opinion that it brings way more good than harm to our society, and so that solution should not be considered.

I don't buy that you have to throw the baby out with the bath water. I think you just need to build a better filtration system. Improve the algorithms used to connect the dots, implement an escalation system for data that does not match on X number of points (even fingerprint matching is rated on a point system for accuracy, a score below which is considered unreliable). I don't think that is unreasonable nor unfeasible.

Fuskie
Who thinks when so much is on the line, protections need to be built into the system to ensure the information they provide is accurate, and if they are not willing to implement those protections on their own, then we need regulations that will make it a priority...
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