Friday, October 7, 2022


Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.


Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.


Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Consumer Groups Press for Bill to Reform Credit Reporting


Friday, September 23, 2022   

Consumer groups are pressing for legislation to reform the way credit agencies handle errors on credit reports.

The calls to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act come in the wake of an admission by Equifax last month that a coding problem caused sizable shifts in the credit scores of about 300,000 people. U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., is seeking bipartisan cosponsors for a bill to require credit agencies to respond to inquiries from third-party credit-repair companies or consumer nonprofits.

"Every day," he said, "banks, employees and government entities rely on credit reports to make critical decisions regarding an American's viability for home and car loans, employment and even government benefits, which are so critical today."

Equifax released a statement in August saying it has fixed the coding error but did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the bill. Right now, a loophole allows agencies to disregard correspondence on credit disputes if it doesn't come directly from the consumer.

"If agencies don't have to even touch the mail, that leaves community members that are really trying to change the game for their lives- and their kids - growing up in neighborhoods with a lot of violence," said the Rev. Andre Chapple, chief executive of the African American Empowerment Coalition in Los Angeles, a nonprofit that educates people about credit issues that can keep them from renting an apartment, buying a car or getting a job. "And they want to relocate, but they can't, because their credit score is suffering with a bunch of inaccurate things on there. It's just really unfair."

Michael Claunch, a senior adviser to the American Association of Consumer Credit Professionals, said consumers deserve access to expert help to repair their credit.

"Because the process of improving your credit is confusing, difficult and time-consuming," he said, "then third parties - such as credit repair organizations, as well as nonprofit community organizations - are needed in it."

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 98% of the time, the big three credit-reporting agencies fail to provide relief to people who complain about errors on their credit reports.

Disclosure: Compassion & Choices contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Health Issues, Senior Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …


Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

According to a 2021 study by the American Heart Association, people who take at least 7,000 steps a day have a 50% to 70% lower risk of dying than those who take fewer daily steps. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021