Duke tells students to revise history

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From: Greg Fisher (greg@creditscoring.com)
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2013 11:39 AM
To: Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University
Subject: RE: credit score, employers, myth, falsity, truth, efficacy of a social media message, ivory tower II, falsity

I do not see a reply to my email from you, and I am troubled that I have not noticed any that you might have made. But, the change that you made to your previously false document (if that is your response (and if it is not, then it is the greatest coincidence in history)) gives me, at least, a glimmer of hope for the future of the planet.

However, something else—something fundamental—troubles me even more. You state: “You can always ask a credit card company or other creditor to have negative information removed from your account.  They want to keep their customers happy, so they will commonly oblige your request if you have regularly made your payments on time and just made a few errors.”

That is in your document—available worldwide—titled, “How can I improve my credit score?” and is the biggest crock of nonsense that I have ever heard. But I have heard it before and did what I could to stop it. After publicly following consumer reporting for 15 years, I have heard it all.

The law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, states

The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit reporting methods undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking system.

It is no wonder the students and young alumni of Duke have an advantage: They have the power to change history.

I used the microcosm of the myth that employers use credit scores to determine the integrity of mainstream media. In that exercise of herding cats, I found that, largely, media organizations are passive-aggressive: They ignore their problem with accuracy, errors and corrections, and me. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution lives. The New York Times (the metaphor as well as the actual organization) needs no formal license to exist, publishes falsity (even about American history) and answers to no one. Now that that exhaustive (and exhausting) 5-year study of mine is over, as I crawl out of that rabbit hole of ridiculousness and into the light on the surface, I find ridiculousness ten-fold and growing.

But institutions of higher learning are not cats. They are (to use a fourth metaphor) a different animal, and, in some cases—as with public institutions, for instance—do, indeed, answer to higher authority. Although that appears not to be the case with you, your affiliation with a religious organization indicates a relationship to a higher moral authority, at least.

To whom Experian and its leaders ultimately answer in regard to misinformation, today, is confusing to me: Is it the Federal Trade Commission or Elizabeth Warren’s notion, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (who likes to call itself the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

And so, since I have not seen a reply from you, I will now berate you with a prediction: You will change your website regarding that bunk about begging a creditor to create a history that never was, and, indeed, sir, suggesting that banks commonly lie to credit bureaus. It is heresy. Your outrageous suggestion impairs the efficiency of the banking system and undermines public confidence.

Have some dignity.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
Page A2
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

Colorado, Morgan and the credit score zombie myth

The news media seem to repeat anything politicians tell them, including what one expert calls “The Myth of the Decade.”

That was the last decade, by the way.

The credit-scores-are-used-by-employers zombie myth’s life undead existence was reanimated again recently thanks to CBS’s Channel 4 in Denver, the Associated Press, the Denver Post— and the Post and the AP acting together.  The inaccurate information is even back on Wikipedia.

At the Colorado statehouse, the misinformation pushes Senate Bill 3 toward the brink. State senator Morgan Carrol’s bill states, “In spite of these systemic flaws, the nonpartisan public policy research and advocacy organization Demos concluded in its 2011 report ‘Discrediting America‘ that consumer credit scores and credit reports are being used more often and in more contexts than ever before, including by employers, utility companies, and insurers.”

Join the side of the truth, or the zombie myth may never end, Morgan.  Morgan.  Three years.  Three years.

credit score, employers, CBS4 Denver

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 9:56 AM
To: Rachel Lulay, CBS, National Amusements
Cc: Gloria Neal, award winning on-air talent, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements; Tim Wieland, news director, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements; Randy Fischer, state representative, Colorado; Randy Fischer, state representative, Colorado; Morgan Carroll, majority caucus chair, state senator, Colorado
Subject: credit score, employers, CBS4 Denver, National Amusements

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3386.

You broadcast, “I was surprised to learn that a lot of companies already do look at credit scores when hiring.”

Your report is inaccurate.  The national consumer reporting agencies all state that they do not provide credit scores for employment screening.

On what day before the hearing will you broadcast a correction at the same time of day?

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

Groundhog Day, 2012: Wikipedia – Jimbo vs. Cookiehead

Groundhog Day, 2012: Wikipedia” updates the previous year’s entry, Groundhog Day, 2011. 

In an exciting showdown, the guy most associated with Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has his contribution edited by a Wikipedian named Cookiehead.  Including “Jimbo,” himself, the rogue editor, the New York Times and the Connecticut legislature, 2012 documents the source of inaccurate information and how it is disseminated by a powerful, byzantine organization with a website.


credit score, TIME: FICO suggests goodwill adjustment

For a while, the idea of the “goodwill adjustment” looked like it was dead.  It is a lie by a furnisher of information to consumer reporting agencies, and flies in the face of logic, ethics and, indeed, the law, which states

The banking system is dependent upon fair and accurate credit reporting. Inaccurate credit reports directly impair the efficiency of the banking system, and unfair credit reporting methods undermine the public confidence which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking system.

Regardless of that naive federal wish, Fair Isaac, the FICO score company leads the charge with regard to the practice touted by experts, disgruntled consumers and media.

According to TIME Moneyland, (myFICO.com consumer operations manager Barry) “Paperno says you can request a ‘pay for delete’ agreement or ‘good will[SIC] adjustment’: you pay everything off in full and they remove the black mark from your report.”

Previously, TIME made a correction to one of its articles, although you would not necessarily know it.

In a day of loss of trust in bond rating agencies, the credit report goodwill adjustment baloney is a similar confusing signal in the consumer segment.  Taking the notion to the logical extreme, the consumer could withhold the last payment of an installment agreement unless the creditor agrees to remove all of the account’s history of late payments.  And why not?  Even FICO (with the help of TIME) suggests it.

You had better get on the moneywagon, too; the competition (the unethical consumer) is getting ahead.

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo