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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Three major national credit reporting agencies in the United States – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – will implement enhanced public record data standards for consumer credit reports beginning on July 1, 2017, according to a statement from the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA).

As part of the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP), Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion have developed new standards for the collection and timely updating of civil judgments and tax liens that will apply to new and existing public record data on credit reporting databases and will require:

  • A minimum of consumer Personally Identifying Information (PII): (1) Name, (2) address, and (3) SSN and/or date of birth.
  • A minimum frequency of courthouse visits to obtain newly filed and updated public records of at least every 90 days.

“Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion continually seek ways to ensure the data they maintain on their consumer credit files is accurate and current, to best serve consumers and the needs of their business and government customers,” Eric J. Ellman, Interim President & CEO at the CDIA, said in the statement.

The CDIA states that the “enhanced standards will have an impact on consumer reporting databases – particularly with civil judgment data where a vast majority of data may not meet PII requirements. With respect to tax lien data, approximately half of this data may not meet the PII requirements.”

The CDIA also states that the three major national credit reporting agencies believe enhanced standards for public records will balance the concerns of consumers and regulators about public record accuracy while ensuring creditors can continue to rely on credit report data and credit scores.

Analyses conducted by the credit reporting agencies and credit score developers FICO and VantageScore show only modest credit scoring impacts and impact to predictive performance as a result of the changes to public record standards. The statement from the CDIA is available here.

As reported earlier by ESR News, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a special report in March 2017 that detailed problems in the credit reporting industry such as fixing data accuracy, repairing broken dispute processes, and cleaning up reported information.

As part of solutions provided by the report, the CFPB found that credit reporting agencies improved oversight in accuracy or integrity procedures by enhancing standards for the public records data that will be accepted, including greater frequency of updates and stricter identity-matching criteria.

ESR News also reported on recent fines ordered by the CFPB against the three major credit reporting agencies for deceiving consumers about credit scores. The CFPB fined Experian $3 million in March 2017 and fined TransUnion and Equifax more than $17.6 million combined in January 2017.

More Information about Credit Reports from ESR

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