Access an audio recording of yesterday’s call with Rep. Al Lawson, African American Empowerment Coalition, and AACCP HERE
Washington, DC- On a press call held yesterday, Rep. Al Lawson, Reverend Andre Chapple with the African American Empowerment Coalition and the American Association of Consumer Credit Professionals (AACCP) reflected on the Equifax error controversy and how it highlights the urgency for Rep. Lawson’s legislation to repeal an anti-consumer loophole in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that denies consumers the right to seek help to fix errors on their credit reports.
Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05), said: “Credit reports have been a growing national problem. For example, more than one third of Americans found an error on their credit report…. Mistakes like these are becoming too common and can have major consequences for those who are trying hard to make ends meet.”
Michael Claunch, a representative from the American Association of Consumer Credit Professionals, said: “The unfortunate errors made by Equifax are just one of the latest highlights of how the current system is failing consumers and underscoring the need for advocates…. Credit reporting is often a confusing, time-consuming, and opaque process. Credit repair companies provide valuable financial services, delivering real results for consumers trying to get their credit scores fixed….Rep. Lawson’s legislation preserves Americans’ right to seek professional help in navigating the complicated credit system, just as they have the right to utilize services from accountants and lawyers.”
Reverend Andre Chapple, Chief Executive of the African American Empowerment Coalition, said: “The field is not even, particularly for African Americans who are the lowest on the totem pole when it comes to credit score…. Let’s not keep allowing practices [like the FCRA loophole] that keep these members suffering.”
You can access the audio recording of yesterday’s call here.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that Equifax wrongly sent out incorrect credit scores for millions of Americans as they were trying to buy homes and cars. Reportedly, the errors changed some customers’ scores by as much as 20 points, causing them to be rejected for loans through no fault of their own.
While Equifax claims they’ve fixed these errors, millions of Americans are still struggling to climb out of economic holes or purchase a home or car due to latent errors on their credit scores. Navigating the complex process to repair their credit scores often proves too difficult for many. That’s why Americans have a right to seek help from qualified credit repair professionals. Unfortunately, debt collectors and credit ratings agencies like Equifax are currently allowed to ignore correspondence from consumers contesting faulty credit scores if they were assisted by a third party, including a credit repair professional.
Recent legislation introduced by Rep. Lawson seeks to address this issue by closing the loophole in the Fair Credit Reporting Act that allows debt collectors and credit rating agencies to ignore correspondence from credit repair professionals. The AACCP is working hard to help pass this legislation that will grant Americans struggling with unfair, inaccurate, or unsubstantiated credit scores the right to seek help from qualified professionals.