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THE BENEFICIARY CREDIT SWEEP GUIDE: NAVIGATE THROUGH COMPLEXITIES OF YOUR CREDIT REPORTING AND WIPE YOUR CREDIT CLEAN

INTRODUCTION

Believe it or not the laws in regards to consumer reporting are overwhelmingly in your favor. 1st I would like to take you to the Fair Credit Reporting Act which is 15 USC 1681-1681 x. The Act also known as Title VI of the Consumer Credit Protection Act protects information collected by consumer reporting agencies such as credit bureaus, medical information companies and tenant screening services.
Information in a consumer report cannot be provided to anyone who does not have a purpose specified in the Act. Companies that provide information to consumer reporting agencies also have specific legal obligations, including the duty to investigate disputed information. In addition, users of the information for credit, insurance, or employment purposes must notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of such reports. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act added many provisions to this Act primarily relating to record accuracy and identity theft.
The Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau most of the rulemaking responsibilities added to this Act by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and the Credit CARD Act, but the Commission retains all its enforcement authority. The main take away from the previous paragraph is that not only are there regulations to protect you and your information every company dealing with a consumer has agreed they would follow those regulations and if they chose not to we have proper authorities to inform.
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commision are great examples of said agencies. The CFPB website is https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ this is where we will handle most of our complaints with the reporting agencies. It also is a great resource to learn about consumer protection laws in all aspects, not just credit.

CONTENTS

FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)

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  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law enacted in 1974 that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA applies to any public or private elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school. 20 USC 1232g (b).
  • Use this Law to remove student loans .
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act

    I recommend reading the ENTIRE act as it will only help your understanding but I am going to highlight a few examples.
    15 U.S. Code § 1681 – Congressional findings and statement of purpose @reallygreatsite
    a)Accuracy and fairness of creditreporting
    • The Congress makes the following findings:
    • There is a need to ensure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.
    (b) Reasonable procedures
    • It is the purpose of this subchapter to require that consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures for meeting the needs of commerce for consumer credit, personnel, insurance, and other information in a manner that is fair and equitable to the consumer, with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information in accordance with the requirements of this subchapter.
    As you can see there is a need to protect your right to privacy.
    Important Definitions from 15 U.S. Code § 1681a - Definitions; rules of construction.
  • The term “consumer reporting agency” means any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.
  • FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

  • The term “consumer” means an individual.
  • The term “consumer report” means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer’s credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living.
  • (2) Exclusions

    • (A)(i) report containing information solely as to transactions or experiences between the consumer and the person making the report;
    • Reporting Transaction history is illegal

    15 U.S. Code § 1681b - Permissible purposes of consumer reports

    Subject to subsection (c), any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances and no other
  • They need your written consent to add anything to your consumer report if you did not give this authorization that is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • P.L 90-321 (82 Stat. 146) which is law law that backes the code is even stricter as it states that any agency can only get your report in response to a request by the head of a State or local child support enforcement agency (or a State or local government official authorized by the head of such an agency)
  • 1 5 U.S. Code § 1681c - Requirements relating to information contained in consumer reports

    Except as authorized under subsection (b), no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information:
  • Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.
  • No adverse item besides the conviction of crimes should be on your report any item that is a derogatory mark is not allowed into consumer reports this is another violation
  • 12 CFR § 1022.3 Definitions

    • Identity theft means a fraud committedor attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.
    • Anything added to your report without your written consent could be considered Identity theft

    15 U.S. Code § 1681c–2 - Block of information resulting from identity theft

    Except as otherwise provided in this section, a consumer reporting agency shall block the reporting of any information in the file of a consumer that the consumer identifies as information that resulted from an alleged identity theft, not later than 4 business days after the date of receipt by such agency of
  • (1)appropriate proof of the identity of the consumer;
  • (2)a copy of an identity theft
  • (3)the identification of such information by the consumer; and
  • FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

  • (4)a statement by the consumer that the information is not information relating to any transaction by the consumer.
  • If you chose to list that in your complaint YOU MUST provide the information listed above. Identity theft reports can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission on their website
  • 15 U.S. Code § 1681e - Compliance procedures

    (a)Identity and purposes of credit users
  • (b)Accuracy of report
  • Whenever a consumer reporting agency prepares a consumer report it shall follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.
  • By violating section 1681b for permissible purpose and 1681c for information contained in consumer reports they are also violating compliance procedures under this title.

    15 U.S. Code § 1681n - Civil liability for willful noncompliance

    ( a)In general
    Any person who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this subchapter with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of—
  • (A)any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000; or
  • (B)in the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or $1,000, whichever is greater;
  • If you can prove they wilfully violated the act you are entitled to at least 1,000$ per violation plus any other damages you have sustained as a result of their failure to follow the law. If you have to file more than 1 complaint, wilful noncompliance can easily be proven as they had a full understanding of the violations after you complained the 1st time. Every company in their agreements with consumers said they would follow the law and agreed to do so. They are aware that they are breaking the law.
  • Every consumer reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures designed to avoid violations of section 1681c of this title and to limit the furnishing of consumer reports to the purposes listed under section 1681b of this title. These procedures shall require that prospective users of the information identify themselves, certify the purposes for which the information is sought, and certify that the information will be used for no other purpose. Every consumer reporting agency shall make a reasonable effort to verify the identity of a new prospective user and the uses certified by such prospective user prior to furnishing such user a consumer report. No consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report to any person if it has reasonable grounds for believing that the consumer report will not be used for a purpose listed in section 1681b of this title.
  • FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT & PRIVACY ACT

    15 U.S. Code § 1681o - Civil liability for negligent noncompliance

    In general
    Any person who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement imposed under this subchapter with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of
    (1)any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure
    Negligent noncompliance means the law was violated not on purpose but just due to a lack of knowledge on the required reporting procedures.

    15 U.S. Code § 1681s–2 -Responsibilities of furnishers of information to consumer reporting agencies

    (1)Prohibition
    (A)Reporting information with actual knowledge of errors
  • A person shall not furnish any information relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency if the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the information is inaccurate.
  • (B)Reporting information after notice and confirmation of errors
  • A person shall not furnish information relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency if—
  • (ii)the information is, in fact, inaccurate.
  • Once you notify the consumer agencies that there is inaccurate information they must immediately stop reporting that information until they can prove that it is valid.
    Those are a few violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that you can use in your complaint against not only the reporting agencies but the furnisher of that information to them.

    Privacy Act of 1974 ( 5 U.S. Code § 552a )

    Important Definitions
    (4)the term “record” means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that containshis name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual, such as a finger or voice print or a photograph;
    This includes consumer reports
    (b)Conditions of Disclosure.—No agency shall disclose any record which is contained in a system of records by any means of communication to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains, unless disclosure of the record would be
    (12)to a consumer reporting agency in accordance with section 3711(e) of title 31. Again they need prior written instruction of the individual to whom it relates. Section 3711(e) of title 31 States
    (1)When trying to collect a claim of the Government under a law except the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C.1 et seq.), the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall disclose to a consumer reporting agency information from a system of records that a person is responsible for a claim if

    PRIVACY ACT & OPT OUT LAWS

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    (E)the head of the agency has established procedures to (iii)get satisfactory assurances from each consumer reporting agency that the agency is complying with all laws of the United States related to providing consumer credit information; and

    Either way they have violated not only the Fair Credit Reporting Act but also the Privacy Act of 1974

    Opt Out Laws
    PART 1016 – PRIVACY OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL INFORMATION (REGULATIONP) 12 CFR § 1016.1 Purpose and scope.
    (a) Purpose. This part governs the treatment of nonpublic personal information about consumers by the financial institutions listed in paragraph (b) of this section. This part
  • (1) Requires a financial institution to provide notice to customers about its privacy policies and practices;
  • (2) Describes the conditions under which a financial institution may disclose nonpublic personal information about consumers to non affiliated third parties; and
  • (3) Provides a method for consumers to prevent a financial institution from disclosing that information to most nonaffiliated third parties by “opting out” of that disclosure, subject to the exceptions in §§ 1016.13, 1016.14, and 1016.15
  • Every company owes you a privacy notice before they furnish any information to our consumer report

    12 CFR § 1016.4 Initial privacy notice to consumers required.

    (a) Initial notice requirement. You must provide a clear and conspicuous notice that accurately reflects your privacy policies and practices to:
  • (1) Customer. An individual who becomes your customer, not later than when you establish a customer relationship, except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section; and
  • (2) Consumer. A consumer, before you disclose any nonpublic personal information about the consumer to any nonaffiliated third party,
  • 12 CFR § 1016.7 Form of opt out notice to consumers; opt out methods.

    Section (a)
    (1) Form of opt out notice. If you are required to provide an opt out notice under §1016.10(a), you must provide a clear and conspicuous notice to each of your consumers that accurately explains the right to opt out under that section. The notice must state:
  • (i) That you disclose or reserve the right to disclose nonpublic personal information about your consumer to anonaffiliated third party;
  • (ii) That the consumer has the right to optout of that disclosure; and
  • (iii) A reasonable means by which the consumer may exercise the opt out right.
  • OPT OUT LAWS

    (2) Examples

  • (ii) Reasonable opt out means. You provide a reasonable means to exercise an opt out right if you:
  • (A) Designate check-off boxes in a prominent position on the relevant forms with the opt out notice;
  • (B) Include a reply form together with the opt out notice that, in the case of financial institutions described in §1016.3(l)(3) of this part, includes the address to which the form should be mailed;
  • (C) Provide an electronic means to opt out, such as a form that can be sent via electronic mail or a process at your Website, if the consumer agrees to the electronic delivery of information; or
  • (D) Provide a toll-free telephone number that consumers may call to opt out.
  • (iii) Unreasonable opt out means. You do not provide a reasonable means of opting out if:
  • (A) The only means of opting out is for the consumer to write his or her own letter to exercise that opt out right; or
  • (B) The only means of opting out as described in any notice subsequent to the initial notice is to use a check-off box that you provided with the initial notice but did not include with the subsequent notice.
  • (g) Time to comply with opt out. You must comply with a consumer’s opt out direction as soon as reasonably practicable after you receive it.
    (h) Continuing right to opt out. A consumer may exercise the right to opt out at any time.
    (i) Duration of consumer’s opt out direction.
    (1) A consumer’s direction to opt out under this section is effective until the consumer revokes it in writing or, if the consumer agrees, electronically.

    15 U.S. Code § 6802 - Obligations with respect to disclosures of personal information

    (a)Notice requirements
  • Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, a financial institution may not, directly or through any affiliate, disclose to a nonaffiliated third party any nonpublic personal information, unless such financial institution provides or has provided to the consumer a notice that complies with section 6803 of this title.
  • (b)Opt out
    (1)In general
  • A financial institution may not disclose nonpublic personal information to a nonaffiliated third party unless—
  • (A)such financial institution clearly and conspicuously discloses to the consumer, in writing or in electronic form or other form permitted by the regulations prescribed under section 6804 of this title, that such information may be disclosed to such third party;
  • (B)the consumer is given the opportunity, before the time that such information is initially disclosed, to direct that such information not be disclosed to such third party; and
  • (C)the consumer is given an explanation of how the consumer can exercise that nondisclosure option.
  • Once again they must give you an opt out notice for anything that is to be added to your consumer report

    15 U.S. Code § 6805 - Enforcement

    (a)In general
    Subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 [12 U.S.C. 5511 et seq.], this subchapter and the regulations prescribed thereunder shall be enforced by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the Federal functional regulators, the State insurance authorities, and the Federal Trade Commission with respect to financial.

    OPT OUT LAWS & CONSUMER FINANCE PROTECTION BUREAU

    Institutions and other persons subject to their jurisdiction under applicable law,
  • You have the right to opt out of anything on your report at any time and the companies must comply as soon as reasonably practicable after you send them a notice. They have given you unreasonable means to opt out so you will have to write your own letter directing them to stop reporting in accordance with the laws listed above.
  • Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
  • Go to https://www.consumerfinance.gov/
  • Click on Submit a Complaint
  • Scroll down until you see this:
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  • Click on Start a new complaint
  • That will take you to this page
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  • You must create an account here in order to submit a complaint
  • If you already have an account click the blue link to go to the login page
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  • Click on start a new complaint
  • That will take you here
  • Click on Credit Reporting
  • Scroll down and Click Credit Reporting Again
  • Go to the next page
  • Select the type of Credit reporting issue I mostly chose Improper use of report but depending on your goal you might choose differently. For this example Improper use is what we will use
  • Select Reporting Company Used your report improperly
  • Select Reporting Company Used your report improperly
  • CONSUMER FINANCE PROTECTION BUREAU

  • If you have tried to fix with the company before select Yes if not then select no and go to the next page
  • Now It’s time to describe what happened Include all relevant account information including account numbers, dates etc.
  • Example (Please do not copy word forword make it your own we aren't Robots)

    “According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act 15 USC 1681 section 602 a states “There is a need to insure that consumer reporting agencies exercise their grave responsibilities with fairness, impartiality, and a respect for the consumer’s right to privacy.” Equifax and Experian are consumer reporting agencies and I am the Consumer. I have the right to make sure my private information isn’t shared which is backed by 15 USC 6801 which states” It is the policy of the Congress that each financial institution has an affirmative and continuing obligation to respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers’ nonpublic personal information.”
    (Furnisher of information to credit agencies) is a financial institution by definition under that title. 15 USC 1681 section 604 a section 2 states that “In general Subject to subsection (c) , any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances and no other: in accordance with the written instructions of the consumer to whom it relates.” (Furnisher of information to credit agencies) the financial institution and the Consumer reporting agencies Equifax and Experian do not have my consent to furnish this information and they surely do not have my written consent. Any and all consent to Equifax, Experian, (Furnisher of information to credit agencies) whether it be verbal, non-verbal, written, implied or otherwise is revoked. 15 USC 6802 (b)(c) states that “A financial institution may not disclose nonpublic personal information to a nonaffiliated third party unless— the consumer is given an explanation of how the consumer can exercise that nondisclosure option.” (Furnisher of information to credit agencies) Never informed me of my right to exercise my nondisclosure option. Not only that15 USC 1681C (a)(5) states” Except as authorized under subsection (b), no consumer reporting agency may make any consumer report containing any of the following items of information Any other adverse item of information, other than records of convictions of crimes which antedates the report by more than seven years.” This account is an adverse item they are reporting again without my permission which is against the law. 15 U.S. Code § 1681s–2(A)(1) A states “A person shall not furnish any information relating to a consumer to any consumer reporting agency if the person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the information is inaccurate. 15 U.S. Code § 1681estates” Every consumer reporting agency shall maintain reasonable procedures designed to avoid violations of section 1681c of this title and to limit the furnishing of consumer reports to the purposes listed under section 1681b of this title.” Equifax and Experian are not maintaining reasonable procedures. Also 12 CFR § 1016.7 states that ” A consumer may exercise the right to opt out at any time.” I am opting out of your reporting services.”

    CONSUMER FINANCE PROTECTION BUREAU & TIPS

  • Put what you think would be a fair resolution to the issue
  • Attach any supporting documents you have and go to the next page
  • Examples
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  • Add the applicable companies including the Furnisher of the information to credit agencies and the agencies themselves
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  • You can add 3 companies per complaint select to complain about another company then click next
  • Add your required information and finish the complaint
  • Tips

  • Remove any old or duplicate addresses from your report if they give you any issues tell them it is a non mailable address
  • Remove any old or duplicate phone numbers
  • Remove any variations of your name that are incorrect
  • Place a security freeze on all your reports
  • Opt out of the following agencies
  • CoreLogic

  • Innovis
  • ARS (Advanced Risk Solutions)
  • SageStream
  • LexisNexis
  • Early Warning Services
  • Get free copies of your report here:https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
    Stay consistent do not give up take the laws you have read and put them to good use

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