Duke tells students to revise history

[previous message]

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
creditscoring.com
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342
937-681-3224

Dan Gilbert, Fathead

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:45 AM
To: David Quilty, senior editor, Quizzle LLC
Cc: Dan Gilbert, Fathead
Subject: Your horrible, recurring errors

You don’t have to say it—I know: I’m overplaying my hand.  But I’m going to make another prediction because you are being Cavalier.

Your website states, “Now when prospective employers vet job candidates, there are two things they’ll likely check on to see if you’d be a responsible employee: 1) your references, and 2) your credit score.”

(I won’t say that you should have used the Comic Sans font because this is not funny.)

That claim is not true.  In fact, it is, flat-out, false.  Look at the correction Dan Gilbert made earlier this year after I only mentioned an error on quizzle.com.  The problem with that childish disappearing act is the URL: http://www.quizzle.com/blog/2012/04/employers-are-checking-credit-scores-are-you-ready/.

Whoopsie.

This time, let’s try something different.

You say that you want guest posts.  Now, I don’t participate in that nonsense because it only seems like a disingenuous effort—one to juice-up search rankings for the guest and the host (I think they call it “link spam”).  But because this is an Ohio thing, I’m going to make an exception to my own high-minded principles.

Here is my first post:

Employers do not use credit scores.  I looked into it.

Greg Fisher, citizen

Bio: Greg Fisher is a citizen.

Your guidelines say that the post must have not been published on another website, so you will have to make an exception.  But this is an extraordinary circumstance: 1) it involves your credibility, 2) it has serious consequences, and 3) I’m right and you’re wrong.  Perhaps the shock of having to admit your failure by publishing that junk will stop you pipsqueaks from spreading the most persistent falsity about credit scores again.

I’m shooting 100% on predictions, and I’m making another one, Sports Fans.  I predict that you will make another correction.

I may be wrong, but I doubt it.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[GILBERT’S PERSONAL RESPONSE]

Prediction: USA Today publisher Gannett will make a correction

USA Today publisher Gannett will make a correction to its latest story about credit scores.  You can believe that prediction because it isn’t easy to get around fundamental numbers.

USA Today claims that the VantageScore credit score scale is 501 to 999 when it is actually 501-990.

But, McPaper is in good company. Testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives, VantageScore chief Barrett Burns committed the same error twice, according to the official record.  VantageScore’s account of history is peculiarly different.

Further, Gannett will make a correction because the company has never come to terms with its inaccurate story about employers and credit scores.  The newspaper’s response was to use the pathetic and annoying “Read the story again” strategy.  Its editorial department (fine people, all) is, thankfully, cooperative and much wiser.  Happy Groundhog Day, by the way.

The numbers journalists use to add credibility to their stories are the same ones that can come back to bite them.

Lifehacker

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 1:20 PM
To: Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief, Lifehacker
Cc: Dan Gilbert
Subject: credit score, inquiries, one additional inquiry may not affect a score

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4578.  This is a question about misinformation and the speed of its reproduction and at which it is eliminated.

You published, “Another conundrum in the credit world is that each time you apply for a credit card or a loan, you credit score takes a small hit.”

However, contradicting that claim, Fair Isaac, the FICO score company states, “For many people, one additional credit inquiry (voluntary and initiated by an application for credit) may not affect their FICO score at all.”

Your article is the first and most prominent one on your home page.  It is also near the top of a news search for the term credit score.

What indicates that each inquiry lowers a person’s credit score?


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

 

Prediction: Dan Gilbert will make a correction.

Dan Gilbert will make a correction.  That is a prediciton that you can believe, sports fans.  Here’s why.

Gilbert is famous.  He’s a mortgage company, NBA basketball and casino squillionaire.  He is also infamous for a certain prediction about his basketball team.  And, unfortunately, his website, Quizzle.com, states, inaccurately, “Employers are Checking Credit Scores – Are You Ready?”

Employers do not use credit scores.  The credit bureaus state that they do not provide scores for employment purposes.

So, there are three things that @cavsdan can do:

  1. Name at least two employers who use credit scores, exposing them, so that the credit bureaus take serious action, and thus solving one of the greatest mass-media mysteries of the past decade: Just who these mystery employers are.  There are none, of course, so he is not going to do that.
  2. Sell his company before the pressure to make the correction is too great to ignore.
  3. Take his lumps and make a correction to the statement.

Follow the message to Dan Gilbert requesting the truth.