Time for Improved Regulations and Oversight of Credit BureausSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

Americans Cannot Escape Economic Stranglehold

Time for Improved Regulations and Oversight of Credit Bureaus

24 August 2010 at 11:28:04 AM

Enough is too much
by Peter Stern

These days Americans are being forced to deal with a number of economic plagues.  Perhaps the foremost is the largest unemployment in the history of our nation.  It is estimated that 14 million Americans currently remain unemployed, which may be a large underestimation.  Tied closely to the economic crisis and a second major issue involves out-of-control and rampant credit bureau power over our lives, which has a devastating impact on many of us.

During the past several decades in the U.S. , three credit bureaus have become so powerful that they can make or break American lives.  They are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Any one of them has the capability of causing many sleepless nights of worry for American citizens. On many levels they rival the power and control efforts of the dreaded IRS.

While within minutes any credit company may provide the bureaus with negative financial information or comments without proof on a person that can stay on an individual's credit report for up to 10 years, it may take years for an individual to get an incorrect negative documentation corrected and/or removed.  In addition, the bureaus are set up so that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to connect directly with a real person to discuss a credit issue.

The god-like power wielded by "the big three" recently caused a woman to be determined unacceptable for a residential mortgage because the bureaus recognized her as being dead. Based on the misinformation provided by the credit bureaus, she was refused a mortgage.  Creditors still do not need to provide documented proof for their negative comments on a person's credit history.

The credit bureaus also may determine whether a prospective employer will hire you, based on your financial credit report. Why should a person's financial status determine whether he or she is eligible to be hired for a job? Financial hardship should not be the reason not to hire a prospective employee.

It is absurd and unconscionable that entities with such little oversight have such immense power over the financial lives of American citizens. It is time to diminish the extent of that power in the best interests of, and in furtherance of the personal rights of, American citizens.  Congress and the President have done little to protect Americans and it is time they act quickly and responsibly to remove some of the omnipotent power provide these apparent megalomaniacs.  It is time that our elected officials develop new and improved laws governing credit bureaus that better protect American citizens.


     Views: 801 
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1 - humanbeing   24 Aug 2010 @ 9:36:08 PM 

I agree with your post, pstern, but I also believe there''s a bigger problem: whatever happened to the reasonable American who still has some common sense? If you can't afford it, don't buy it.

I'm aware of the predatory lending pracdtices Americans have been exposed to. And I understand how powerful Corporate America has been in its influence to consume, consume, consume. Financial management, unfortuately, is not part of a young American's education. It should be. Most of us get our education on this matter from our parents. If our parents are not good at this, neither will we be. While both my parents were exceptional people, my father couldn't hold onto his money and my mother believed she would never have enough.

We are all complicite in this mess we have created. Until we get this, we won't be able to fix it.

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2 - pstern   25 Aug 2010 @ 6:33:18 PM 

In a perfect world, I agree with you.  But our current America is far from perfect.  If we so stupidly opt to buy over our heads, where is the banking oversight that does not permit it?  After all, doesn't the bank or credit card company review our application and determine whether we are accountable for the credit we ask for and are a good risk?

I wrote another piece that was printed here and throughout the nation in various blogs and media.  It discussed that we all are accountable for and the cause of the economic crisis we are in, that is, consumers, Congress, banks, Wall Street.... --- every last one of us.  Those in power, a.k.a., the Corporate/Military Oligarchy are the most responsible.  And we still are accountable, but our leaders are not looking out for America's interest.  Our leaders don't give a crap about Americans either.  There is the problem.

Greed rules.

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3 - humanbeing   25 Aug 2010 @ 11:06:08 PM 

The old banking system? It hardly exists as you and I once knew it.

Our leaders, the few who are left, are impotent to correct the corruption and the rest of them are caught up in it. They don't see clearly anymore. The systems will have to collapse first before something newer and better can be created.

Yes, we must all stand accountable.

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4 - pstern   26 Aug 2010 @ 5:34:23 AM 

In addition, The Federal Reserve Bank and system must be eliminated or drastically changed.  It's purpose has been undermined and does little to help the nation's economy.

However, the point of this article is to focus on the 3 big credit bureaus, to recognize the extreme power they wield, the innacurate information they provide, how the information they provide is manipulated and irresponsibly used by them and their business members and to modify the hold and affect they have on so many Americans.

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5 - OldBridge   27 Aug 2010 @ 11:27:50 PM 

The credit rating agencies are agents of the 'big banks'.  The rating agencies primarily encourage people to take on debt.  They do this by making people think they have won a lottery when their loan is approved. The 'big banks' that control the raters enjoy their bad reputation since it will often encourage delirious spending when 25 year old newly weds are offered a $300,000 mortgage. Unfortunately for the big banks, public mood is changing. Obviously, it makes no sense to buy a McMansion when home prices are falling. The system works only if the 'Big Banks' can get people to borrow money.  

Keep in mind that the 'Big Banks' don't really care if anyone pays back a debt.  They take their fees up front.  When a default occurs, the 'Big Banks' repossess what still has value and tax payers cover the rest.  'Fiscal austerity' is a code word for "make the taxpayer cover 'Big Bank' losses and big bank salaries."

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6 - humanbeing   28 Aug 2010 @ 12:02:21 AM 

You've nailed it, OldBridge.

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