Deadline 4/25/05: The FTC Seeks Consumer Comments about Credit or Insurance Declines or Rate Increases Due to Credit Scores

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The Fact Act of 2003 requires the Federal Trace Commission to study the effects of credit scores on credit and insurance rates and availability and consumers can easily submit their experiences to the FTC online.

If you applied for a mortgage in the last 10 years, you probabaly know how important credit scores are, especially if you are self employed or looking for a home equity loan.

In recent years, almost all creditors and many insurers utilized credit scores to approve or decline applications and to establish rates. Insurers are known to disguise rate surcharges as "good credit discounts." PEMCO insurance required a minimum credit score of 800 for the best rates and the letter is scanned at http://www.prweb.com/prfiles/2004/03/23/113432/PEMCO-scores.jpeg

Federal law requires creditors to notify consumers after "adverse actions" such as declines, higher interest rates or lower loan amounts due to credit. Consumers are entitled to free credit reports and notices of their rights, including the right to dispute inaccurate credit data.

Unfortunately, many creditors ignore the laws requiring that they disclose to applicants that their loan was denied or that rates are higher due to their credit reports. Few creditors disclose that credit scores were the reason, as there is no legal requirement for creditors to disclose that they utilized credit scores.

When Ameriquest failed to provide the legally required Adverse Action Notice after it declined Christine Baker due to her credit reports, she sued Ameriquest in Phoenix Federal Court on 6/9/04, case # CIV-04-1192-PCT-NVW. To date, Ameriquest has refused to acknowledge that credit was the reason for the decline.

It is very important that consumers let the FTC know about problems with credit, credit scores as well as creditors refusing to provide the true reason for the decline. It only takes a few minutes to submit comments to the FTC at https://secure.commentworks.com/FTCCreditScoreStudy/

Ms. Baker's blog "2005 Credit Suit" is at http://creditsuit.org/ and focuses on credit news and litigation. She also operates the "Fight Back!!!" forum at http://www.fight-back.us/forum/ with many screenshots and audio files documenting credit bureau and creditor misrepresentations and illegal activities as well as efforts to get regulators and legislators to enforce consumer protection legislation.

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Christine Baker
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