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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Elizabeth Warren to Wells Fargo CEO: 'You should be fired'

It was déjà vu for Wells Fargo, this week, as senators expressed outrage at the bank’s culture of shady practices. Last year, senators berated (former-CEO) John Stumpf over the millions of fake accounts created in customers’ names. Stumpf’s replacement, Tim Sloan, took the brunt of congressional ire on Tuesday, with Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii going as far as to call for the revocation of Wells Fargo’s charter. Wells Fargo is currently under investigation by the US Dep’t of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the US Dep’t of Labor.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Equifax will continue to profit by selling your personal information

Equifax’s former CEO is testifying before Congress this week. In spite of the potential for great harm to consumers, industry-insiders expect little regulatory change in the wake of Equifax’s breach. The fact that credit is such an integral piece of the economy, generally—and the degree to which the economy relies upon a functioning credit reporting system—radical changes are unlikely anytime soon.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

The real problem with credit reporting is the astounding number of errors

The Big Three credit agencies are juggling roughly 2.6 billion data entries apiece, at any given time. With over 1 billion modifications to those entries each month, "[s]peed and volume are favored over accuracy." Aaron Klein of the Brookings Institute writes, the "costs of correcting the data outweigh benefits," leading to millions of errors on consumers' credit reports. Klein suggests several common sense remedies to the issue, including enabling consumers to check their credit reports at-will, free of charge.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Liens and Judgments Data: Not Gone for Good

Until recently, mortgage lenders could access the lien and judgment history of potential borrowers through a borrower’s credit report. The national credit reporting agencies (NCRAs), TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, did such a poor job of keeping reliable records on liens and judgments—Social Security numbers were missing from roughly 50% of tax lien records and 96% of civil judgment records—that they're no longer allowed to provide these services. Mortgage lenders must now obtain information on liens and judgments through more circuitous means, such as title searches.

Read more . . .

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Equifax CEO Richard Smith is out after stunning data breach

Richard Smith, the beleaguered CEO of Equifax, has stepped down from his post. Apart from referring to Smith's exit as a “retirement,” Equifax makes no effort to conceal the reasons for his departure. Since Equifax’s data breach was made public earlier this month, “[a]s much as one-third of Equifax's market value [has] vanished;” the corporation remains under investigation by a handful of  attorneys general, in addition to the FTC; and, its efforts to work with consumers in response to the breach has been dismal. 

Read more . . .

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cuomo Proposes Stricter Regulations for Credit Reporting Agencies

NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announces new regulations for credit reporting agencies. Referring to July’s Equifax breach as “a wake-up call,” Cuomo said that NY will hold the credit industry to the same scrutiny as banks and other financial industries who do business in the state. Credit reporting agencies will be required to register with the Dep’t of Financial Services—which will have the authority to sue “if a company fails to comply or engages in prohibited practices deemed unfair, deceptive or predatory.”

Read more . . .

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Despite Equifax hack, GOP lawmakers want to deregulate credit agencies

Clear partisan lines emerge in response to the Equifax breach. Last week, Democrats introduced the Freedom from Equifax Exploitation Act, barring credit bureaus the ability to charge a fee for freezing consumer credit. House Republicans, on the other hand, propose to undermine credit-industry regulations with new legislation. The Credit Services Protection Act, introduced by Ed Royce (R-Cal.), and the FCRA Liability Harmonization Act, spearheaded by Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.
Read more . . .

Monday, September 18, 2017

Machine-learning promises to shake up large swathes of finance

As AI advances, the financial industry is propelled into an orbit of seemingly boundless efficiency. What used to take armies of well-compensated attorneys at JP Morgan Chase, and other financial corporations, 100,000s of hours to perform, can now be accomplished by computers in a matter of seconds. Though some remain skeptical, “machine learning” seems poised to take over not only document heavy industries like banking but more discretionary roles, like trading, as well.

Read more . . .

Monday, September 18, 2017

Your Credit Score Could Make or Break Your Love Life

While it may not surprise you that having good credit contributes to one’s general attractiveness, recent data suggests that relationship seekers prioritize high credit scores to a surprising degree over more traditional markers of attractiveness, such as having a nice car or holding a high-status career. Match.com’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Helen Fisher, suggests that we have a biological imperative to seek out those who are financially responsible, as they will make for reliable mates.

Read more . . .

Friday, September 15, 2017

Equifax Security Breach: Agency Websites Melt Down Under Surge

In response to Equifax’s July data breach, droves of Americans rush to freeze their credit, overwhelming the “Big Three” credit bureaus’ resources.

See NBC News video here

Read more . . .

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

143 Million Reasons Congress Shouldn’t Gut the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Congressman Barry Loudermilk’s proposal to weaken the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entered the national discourse on the heels of Equifax’s potentially catastrophic data breach. Industry watchdogs highlight the sharp contrast between the need for credit-industry regulation (as evidenced by the Equifax breach) and the coziness with which some Congress members comport themselves to the credit bureaus.

Read more . . .

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