Consumers need to know about their rights to seek help from credit repair professionals
Washington, DC: The American Association of Consumer Credit Professionals (AACCP) responded today to a series of videos released last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on how consumers can repair and improve their credit. The AACCP has partnered with nonprofit groups—including the African American Empowerment Coalition, the National Asian American Coalition and the National Diversity Coalition—to lobby Congress to repeal a loophole in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that allows furnishers and debt collectors to ignore correspondence from consumers that has been prepared with the help of credit repair professionals. Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) recently introduced landmark consumer protection legislation to repeal this loophole and restore Americans’ right to seek help from credit repair professionals.
The CFPB videos released this week highlighted several important facts, including:
- Your credit history impacts credit scores.
- It’s important to monitor your credit reports and scores.
- If you spot a credit report error, you should dispute it.
While this basic information is important for consumers to know, the AACCP is highlighting other critical legal rights for consumers struggling with inaccurate credit reports. These include:
- Negative credit information must not only be accurate, but should also be fairly reported in accordance with several consumer protection laws. Removable data may be technically accurate but still unfairly reported or not backed by evidence.
- Charged-off accounts can be sold and resold, resulting in two or more credit tradelines with no indication that the items represent a single alleged obligation.
- Debt collectors often add fees and interest and use company names that bear no relationship to an original obligation, resulting in credit reports that are difficult to recognize.
- Federal and state statutes, and applicable case law, accord specific protections to those whose lives have been impacted by military service, illness, student loans, divorce, bankruptcy, identity theft and other life circumstances.
- Getting professional help with the confusing and exploitative world of finance is a fundamental consumer right.