Accuracy, transparency and integrity

[ORIGINAL MESSAGE TO AUTHOR, PUBLISHED January 12, 2013]

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Saturday, January 12, 2013 11:44 AM
To: Manisha Thakor
Subject: Adams Media, F+W Media

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=4523.

In your book “On My Own Two Feet” (2007), you wrote, “Increasingly, prospective employers are also looking at this three-digit number, under the assumption that people who are financially responsible make better employees.”

What indicates that, increasingly, employers use credit scores?


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


From: Greg Fisher
Date: January 16, 2013 12:23:37 AM EST
To: Manisha Thakor, Sharon Kedar
Cc: David Nussbaum, chairman and CEO, F+W Media, Inc. (via S. Berger)
Subject: RE: Adams Media, F+W Media II
Reply-To: <greg@creditscoring.com>

Please reply.


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


From: Gissinger, Beth
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 10:34 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: FW: Adams Media, F+W Media II

Hi Greg – I’m sorry you haven’t yet received a reply from Manisha or Sharon. I have reached out to them separately and have directed them to your message. I would expect you will hear from them soon.  Please let me know if you do not.
Best,
Beth
************************************************************
Beth Gissinger
Digital Marketing Director, Adams Media / F+W Media
[phone]
[email]
@bgiss
www.adamsmedia.com


From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:14 AM
To: Gissinger, Beth Cc: Manisha Thakor; Sharon Kedar
Subject: RE: Adams Media, F+W Media II

Thank you.

What is your policy regarding errors of fact in your books?


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


From: Gissinger, Beth
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 11:24 AM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Cc: Manisha Thakor; Sharon Kedar
Subject: RE: Adams Media, F+W Media II

Hi Greg – The authors would work with their editor and the material would be corrected in the next printing of the book.

Thank you


From: Manisha Thakor
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:07 PM
To: Gissinger, Beth
Cc: greg@creditscoring.com; Sharon Kedar
Subject: Re: Adams Media, F+W Media II

Greg,

Actually, the statement is not inaccurate as of the time the book was written. As you rightly noted this book came out in 2007, and therefore was written in 2006. At that time there clearly was an “increasing” tendency of employers to incorporate the use of credit scores in to the hiring decision making process.

Subsequent to the 2007 version of this book’s release, there has been a wide range of legislation that has come up to block this practice.  Clearly the need for such legislation is proof positive that is was a an increasingly popular practice at the time the book was written.  And as you can see in a careful reading of the Fair Credit Reporting Act that while the practice has been dramatically curtailed there are still some limited instances where it is permitted.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT: http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf
SHORT SUMMARY OF CURRENT PRACTICES: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/running-credit-checks-applicants-35457.html
EXAMPLES OF LEGISLATION INTRODUCED AFTER OUR BOOK WAS WRITTEN: http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/banking/use-of-credit-info-in-employ-2012-legis.aspx

Individuals reading this (or any nonfiction book) should note it’s publication date to have context for the content.  Clearly if either one of us were to write a new book (or if sales of this old book justified a reprint of an updated 2013 version) the statement in 2013 would exclude the word “increasingly” and be something to the effect of alerting individuals that striving to maintain a good credit score is good financial hygiene as there “may be” instances where an employer requests their permission to check their credit score as part of a job application.

I reviewed your website and could not find anything at all about your professional background or qualifications.  Could you please let us all know a bit more about who you are and what your organization is trying to achieve in reaching out to us in this very terse and insistent manner about a clearly denoted 2007 book that at present has no plans to be re-released in an “updated and revised 2013” version?

All of us, both publisher & authors, are committed to accuracy, transparency, and integrity in our work and would respectfully request the same from anyone reaching out to us.

Manisha


From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:07 AM
To: Manisha Thakor, financial expert
Subject: RE: Adams Media, F+W Media II, credentials, credence

Ms. Thakor:

I don’t know the Ivy League qualifications to send email, but I know the truth.  There is no need for legislation to stop the use of credit scores in employment because it is a practice (increasing, decreasing or otherwise) that does not exist—except in imaginations.

I am in no organization.  I am a citizen—a person who the consumer reporting agencies subject to the FCRA have compiled and maintain files on—and since 1998, the author of creditscoring.com.  In 1989, someone mentioned a “Beacon” FICO credit score of one of my files.  In the early 1990s, I saw a FICO score for the first time.  In 1997, I asked the consumer reporting agencies for their credit scores of their files on me.  In 2001, 2002 and 2003, they began providing them.

This year is an important 5-year mark because in 2008, I asked the CRAs if they provide credit scores to employers and they replied that they do not.  In fact, one even testified so.  And, I haven’t heard of one person saying that the Acme Widget Company requires a 600 to get a job there; you’d think that would have bubbled up by now.  If it ever comes to light, the employer can say goodbye to the scores because they are violating their contract with the credit bureau.

Here is a blurb from a press release that I wrote:

About the Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com, The Credit Scoring Site, has tracked events and trends in credit scoring since 1998. Approaching the topic of credit scores from a consumer’s perspective, creditscoring.com asks the questions an average person would ask, and provides relevant, useable, documented analyses. For more information, contact The Credit Scoring Site, 937-681-3224; email: greg@creditscoring.com; website: http://creditscoring.com. PO Box 342, Dayton, Ohio 45409-0342.

A long time ago, Nolo (who you mentioned) said that I use creditscoring.com to launch “often strident, sometimes wacky, but usually well-documented attacks on the credit-scoring concept and the industries that support it.”  Facts, documentation and sources are merely essentials.  But I’m particularly proud of the “wacky” part.

A Federal Reserve publication calls my work “interesting reading.”  Have you ever been mentioned by the Fed?  It’s thrilling.  On the other hand, McClatchy’s News and Observer published: “He’s also no fan of people who disseminate misinformation. His website shows a dogged determination to go after everyone who gets it wrong: journalists, the Federal Reserve, the credit bureaus, talk show hosts.”

Because of the poor response by mass media (and the desperate, pathetic ad hominem tactic) regarding this silly-turned-serious employers nonsense that you fuel, I began writing Page A2Media accuracy, errors and corrections.  However, I have no illusions about the dark future of misinformation.  I struggle with that, the deep and broad influence of a solitary, 12 year old crackpot, the meaning of expert and Rachel at Cardholder Services’ real name.

Other like-minded detractors to the employers myth are John Ulzheimer, the Baltimore Sun, the Columbia Daily Tribune, Kevin Drum, the USA Today editorial department and Lester Rosen.  I want to extinguish that myth because Americans have enough to worry about.

Please quote the words in the documents that you provided links to that indicate that employers use credit scores.

In your book “Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey” (2010), you claim, “Many people don’t realize this, but your credit score is used for all sorts of things like determining how much you’d pay for a home or car loan, whether a landlord will rent to you, what kinds of rates insurance companies will charge you, and even if an employer is willing to hire you.”

So, when did you write that one?  And, what are the names of two employers who use credit scores?

I don’t reach out.  Now, are you still a Believer, or are you a Nonbeliever?


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


From: Manisha Thakor
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 5:44 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Cc: Duffy, Chris; Beth Gissinger; Sharon Kedar Subject:
Re: Adams Media, F+W Media II, credentials, credence

Greg,

Thank you for this additional background.

We share your desire not to perpetuate mis-information or give Americans more to worry about and will discus this with our publisher.

Manisha


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 1:31 PM
To: Duffy, Chris; Beth Gissinger
Cc: Manisha Thakor; Sharon Kedar Subject:
RE: Adams Media, F+W Media II, correction, digital form

I purchased a copy of the book in digital form today.  The error that you published still exists.

What is stopping you from correcting it?


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