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BUSINESS
June 6, 2010 | Liz Pulliam Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: As part of our mortgage refinance, my wife and I were provided copies of our credit reports and scores by the credit union making our loan. Our scores are great, ranging from 777 to 819, but I was surprised to see in the negative remarks section a note that I had "too many inquiries." Reviewing the list I saw one business I recognized (a new brokerage account), one of our credit card issuers and four inquiries from CBC Innovis. What is CBC Innovis and how can I tell them to butt out of my credit history?
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
November 15, 2013 | By David Lazarus
A simple question from Willie: He wants to know where you can go online for free copies of your credit reports. By law, the major credit reporting companies -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- are required to provide one free copy of your credit report each year. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Unfortunately, a number of other businesses have tried to exploit the law by creating me-too websites that look like they offer free reports but actually end up charging you for things.
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BUSINESS
November 19, 1999 | EDMUND SANDERS, Edmund Sanders covers financial institutions and fraud for The Times. He can be reached at (714) 966-5811 and at edmund.sanders@latimes.com
A unit of Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. has jumped into the growing market for online credit reports. First American Credco recently unveiled FASTCredit, which delivers a consumer credit report that includes information from the leading three credit bureaus. The product--offered via its Internet-based system at www.fastweb.firstam.com--is targeted at mortgage lenders, car lenders and other financial companies that are making credit decisions about borrowers.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2013 | David Lazarus
Robert Marcum knew he had a problem when he found out he was dead. The tragic news arrived recently as he was trying to close a deal to buy property in Palm Springs. Marcum, 70, was informed that, according to his credit file, he'd passed away a couple of years ago. "No one had told me," he said. Looking more closely at his credit file, Glendale resident Marcum discovered that not only was he dead but that, when he was alive, he was apparently involved with a woman named Jean Thomson.
NEWS
July 15, 1998 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Highlights of the new law strengthening the Fair Credit Reporting Act: * Thirty-day deadline for fixing mistakes in credit reports, with consumer to be given written results within five days of investigation's completion. * New obligations for creditors--not just credit-reporting bureaus--to provide accurate information or correct errors. * No credit reports may be ordered by employers on job applicants without their written permission.
BUSINESS
September 22, 2010 | By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times
Credit report giant Experian is acquiring Calabasas-based Mighty Net Inc., a far smaller rival in the business of selling consumers information about their files at the three large credit trackers — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian itself. Experian, based in Dublin, Ireland, is paying $207.5 million for Mighty Net, according to an Experian statement. Mighty Net charges about $15 a month to allow consumers to continuously monitor their files and credit scores.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2000 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON
The growing importance of credit scoring and the rise of potentially costly identity theft mean most consumers should review their official credit reports at least annually. Here's how to do it: 1. Purchase a copy of your credit report: All three major credit bureaus offer reports to consumers for about $8. Most West Coast lenders use Experian at (888) 397-3742; you can also order online at http://www.experian .com. The other bureaus are Trans Union at (800) 916-8800 or http://www .transunion.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2000 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON
Cleaning up your credit report is no easy task. The growing importance of credit scores and the rise in identity thefts, however, mean that reviewing--and, if necessary, fixing--credit files should be an annual ritual for most of us. For those with good credit, the chore is equivalent to checking your home's rain gutters before winter. You may face a little cleaning up, but it could help you avoid major damage. For those with poor credit, the assignment will be more onerous.
BUSINESS
June 27, 2004 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
Consumer credit reports remain riddled with errors despite regulatory sanctions and consumer lawsuits, an advocacy group contends. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says its recent survey found that nearly 8 in 10 credit reports contained factual errors -- and about 1 in 4 contained errors so serious that they could result in the borrower being denied a loan. "The credit bureaus don't seem to be improving," said Ed Mierzwinski, the group's consumer program director.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2003 | From Reuters and Bloomberg News
Congress moved closer Friday to approving legislation that would give consumers new tools for preventing identity theft while restricting the ability of states such as California to impose their own tougher provisions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
A report on "60 Minutes" has resulted in a new California law giving consumers the ability to make sure their credit reports are accurate. Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) said she was watching the CBS program and was struck by the results of a study by the Federal Trade Commission that as many as 40 million Americans have inaccurate information and errors in their credit reports. “As consumers, we deserve every right to view our credit histories, especially if a bank, landlord or employer has this information and can use it to deny our credit applications,” Skinner said.
BUSINESS
August 16, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: If I plan to stay invested for more than 15 years and I can tolerate the ups and downs of the market, why would I want to put any of my 401(k) money into bonds instead of putting it all in various stock funds? The bond funds in my 401(k) have a five-year return of 5% to 6% whereas the other funds are 8% to 13%. Answer: If you look at the more recent performance of those bond funds, you'll notice that their returns are considerably worse. Many have been losing money lately as interest rates have risen.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My spouse has tenure at a university. Given that one of us will always be employed, should we change the way we look at the amount of money we keep in an emergency fund or our risk tolerance for investments? Answer: Even tenured professors can get fired or laid off. Tenure was designed to protect academic freedom, but professors can lose their jobs because of serious misconduct, incompetence or economic cutbacks, such as when a department is eliminated or a whole university is closed.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I just finished paying off my last credit card and checked my credit report as I am now separated from my wife. I found we had one joint account that she had not been paying. There are two stretches of five months each of no payment. I immediately called up the creditor and paid off the balance and the creditor closed the account due to the lack of payments. This one account killed my credit score. I also found two old accounts on my credit report that are both still active but I have not used them for years.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - Are large numbers of homeowners who have negotiated short sales with lenders at risk because of a startling omission in the American credit system? Do their credit reports and scores indicate that they were foreclosed upon, rather than having negotiated a mutually agreeable resolution with their lender? The answer appears to be yes, and recently two federal agencies - the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - were asked to investigate why. The reality is this: The credit reporting system now in place does not have a separate code that distinguishes a short sale from a foreclosure.
BUSINESS
May 4, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My husband and I are in the process of refinancing our mortgage. I just received my credit report in the mail, and my score was 724. The report indicated that a delinquency resulted in my less-than-stellar score. When I went to the credit bureau site to see where the problem was, I saw that I had a $34 charge on a Visa last year. I rarely use that card, so I did not realize that I had a balance. As a result, I had a delinquent balance for five months last year. I am sick about this, as I always pay my bills on time.
BUSINESS
March 13, 1994 | KATHY M. KRISTOF
For four years, Michelle Meier pushed for legislation to tighten the rules in the credit-reporting industry, which has been accused of ruining reputations by failing to correct false and misleading information in some consumer credit files. But when the House Banking Committee recently passed a bill designed to do just that, Meier reversed herself. She vowed to fight the bill rather than support it.
REAL ESTATE
May 25, 2003
I agree that the proposed legislation by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) would be in the best interest of consumers (Update, "Proposed Law Would Improve Credit Reporting," May 4). I believe, however, that the consumer would benefit most if legislation required the credit bureaus to furnish California residents with a free copy of their credit report at their request once a year. This is the law in numerous other states but not in California. Why is that? I thought we led the way in consumer activism.
BUSINESS
February 11, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- About one in 20 consumers had significant errors on their credit reports that could cause them to pay more for auto loans and other financial products, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Monday. The study also found that about 26% of the approximately 200 million people covered by the U.S. credit reporting industry had at least one "potentially material error" on one of their three credit reports. And four out of five people who took steps to fix errors with one of the three major credit reporting companies -- Experian Information Solutions Inc., Equifax Inc. and TransUnion -- got their credit report changed.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My daughter co-signed a student loan for a friend who failed to pay the debt. Now my daughter cannot refinance her home because this loan appears on her otherwise very good credit reports. She has been getting calls from a collection agency. I called the agency to discuss what it would cost to get her released from all liability regarding this loan, and they gave me an offer of $13,000 to satisfy the debt, which is now $35,000. I countered with $9,000, since the original loan was just $15,000, but they refused.
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