The Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) released a statement about new rules for reporting public records, including civil judgments and tax liens. The statement is made with regard to the three primary Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The statement includes attribution to Eric J. Ellman, Interim President of the industry association. The entire statement can be found here.
The important news for consumers is short and sweet.
As part of the previously announced settlement of an investigation that began with the Atorrney General of the State of New York, and followed by more than thirty other states, the National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP) Equifax, Experian and TransUnion agreed to substantial changes in their reporting methodology. As part of that settlement they have developed new standards for public record data.
Of particular interest is the method for collecting data pertaining to civil judgments and tax liens. The improved standards apply to both new and existing public record. The CRAs are now required to do two things they were not doing before the settlement. They cannot report public record information unless it contains the following:
- Consumer personal identifying information that includes: (1) name, (2) address, and (3) social security number or date of birth.
In addition, the information cannot be reported unless it is updated on a regular basis. The new schedule requires data be updated:
- Pursuant to courthouse visitation not less than every ninety days to gather new filings and to update previously reported records.
The improved methodology was implemented on July 1, 2017. It is expected to result in deletion of many existing records because large numbers of them are unlikely to supply the information necessary for them to be reported.
The CDIA statement also states that half of the tax lien data is unlikely to meet the new requirements. Millions of old, outdated, and erroneous liens will no longer be reported.
If you are currently dealing with these issues or you have dealt with them in the past, then you know how much difference this will make for clearing old, erroneous, and unverifiable history. In the past, judgments and liens have been especially difficult to correct. The new records should make the process much fairer and more equitable for you.
If you have just begun to deal with these records in an effort to clear your credit reputation, then you have become aware of some of the areas effected by your credit history. The lease for your home or apartment, automobile and homeowner’s insurance, and possibly your employment now depends on your credit history.