Consumers face a number of complex challenges when interacting with the credit reporting system. While their efforts are laudable, state and federal regulatory agencies have attempted to assist consumers by engaging in consumer education efforts regarding “repairing credit” that have been relatively limited, focusing primarily on mitigating identity theft and mixed file errors. A substantial gap exists between these efforts and the many problems consumers face on a regular basis. Credit repair organizations fill that gap.
Modern credit repair organizations meet a need for consumers who:
- lack the time or ability to correct inaccurate information on their credit reports or choose to hire someone to do so on their behalf;
- lack understanding or expertise in exerting their rights under FCRA and other laws and seek experts to assist them; and/or
- need non-repair services such as fraud monitoring, identity theft protection, credit monitoring and credit education
AACCP members take a holistic approach to helping their clients with credit-related services. Their aim is to ensure CRAs receive and then report consumer data that follows equitable reporting processes, is accurate and can be substantiated by furnisher records at the time it is reported.
Credit repair organizations help consumers identify and correct improper credit reporting. After a complete credit report analysis with a new client during the intake process, the CRO develops a correspondence strategy to probe a furnisher’s compliance with applicable credit reporting standards.
This may involve asking furnishers to demonstrate how they meet a variety of obligations designed to prevent consumers from having improperly vetted information “about them” disclosed to third parties—such as, credit reporting obligations arising from:
- Fair Credit Billing Act
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Student lending protections
- Servicemember protections
- Medical debt protections
- Identity theft protections
- Obligation to pay following a divorce
- Substantiation (recordkeeping) and accuracy mandates of the FCRA
- CARES Act consumer protections