Quicken Loans nonsense, and Gilbert’s bitterness about credit scores

Dan Gilbert is bitter.

He made some corrections, but he still has not completed his work.

[previous email exchange]

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:29 PM
To: Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans; Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via L. Kreder); Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via Help address); Bill Emerson, CEO, Quicken Loans (via assistant’s address)
Cc: Dan Gilbert, Fathead; David Quilty, senior editor, Quizzle LLC; Todd Albery, Leader of the Webolution, Quizzle LLC
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow III

Your website still states, falsely, “Don’t forget: Many employers also check credit scores, especially when you’re in the hiring process.”

That is nonsense. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it.

Who is your regulator?


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

False information spread by Time Warner/CNN

Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner

This is a civics lesson directed squarely at you. If a shadow audience reads it, that’s gravy.

See “Labor Day, 2013 – CNN and the myth about employers and credit scores.” In it, I make the point that your reports of American history and credit scores are factually incorrect. Your websites state that Mitch McConnell is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate. That is not true, and further, it has never been true. While a fine man, Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) is Minority Leader. You can see that plain fact on the Senate’s official history page, “Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips.”

You also state that employers use credit scores, and that is not true, either. That fact was a lot harder to prove (and took 5 years; proving that something is not is a lot harder than proving that something is) than the fact of the senator’s position, but there isn’t much debate about it now. If there is debate, your side loses. Hell, you even seem to argue with yourself, publishing, in 2011, “It’s important to note that employers can’t actually see your three-digit credit score,” and then, in 2013, “Insurance companies, landlords, and employers are increasingly checking credit  scores, too.”

Blame VantageScore if you want (actually, that would be a good thing–the more, the merrier), but the CEO of that relatively new gambit of the consumer reporting agencies doesn’t have his act together, either. You are birds of a feather: Too quick on the Publish button, and oblivious.

Despite the proof above (and your having been informed), your pages still make false claims. In addition to those listed on the Labor Day page, here are more examples of you stating Senator McConnell’s title inaccurately. Please, for the sake of the United States of America, stop it today. If you do nothing, this merciless berating will continue.

  1. DNC ad aims at ‘plotting’ by McConnell
  2. CNN’s GUT CHECK for March 14, 2013
  3. Repeal health care law? Forget about it
  4. SOTU Crib Sheet 3/3
  5. Reid Yanks Senate Contingency Plan as House Takes Lead in Debt Talks

And, on the following pages, you published the statement that employers use credit scores. Employers do not use credit scores. I looked into it. The first three stories are dated after April 24, 2008, the date that–within days of the other two–the third of the three main national consumer reporting agencies stated that they do not provide credit scores for employment purposes. The second three are dated prior to 2008. If, by some great miracle (or act of journalism), you come up with evidence or sources, please provide them today. Had you done so in the first place, we would not be here, now.

  1. MYB: Your credit score could prevent you from getting a job – Christine Romans explains” (2013)
  2. Employers are looking at candidates credit scores. Be wary.” (2010)
  3. Settling the credit score” (2008)
  4. How to ace your credit score” (2007)
  5. 8 credit score myths” (2005)
  6. Credit score myths” (2004)

There are other myths that need attention, but if this does not compel you to make corrections, there is a much bigger predicament. Not only is what you are doing wrong in terms of accuracy, it is wrong, ethically. Because of this fundamental problem, we don’t have a well-informed electorate (let-alone a well-informed legislature). Truth is in the balance.

Despite your mass-media megalomania and prolific uploading, there is still hope. But, your action in this moment will stand as a fact of history. Don’t let it slip away.

The propagation of this myth has serious consequences. Today, before you publish another word, make it stop.

No interviews.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site (creditscoring.com) – A bleak account
Page A2 (pagea2.com) – Media accuracy, errors and corrections
greg@pagea2.com

cc: Jeff Zucker, CNN
cc: Joseph A. Ripp, Time

OCC Charter No. 1316

From: Greg Fisher
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:14 PM
To: William S. Demchak, president and CEO, PNC Financial Services Group (via P. McMahon)
Subject: credit score, employers, OCC Charter No. 1316

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=5343.

At https://twitter.com/PNCNews/status/372705152752705536, you wrote, “Who looks at your #creditscore? Not just lenders, but employers, landlords, even mobile phone companies. #PNC #AchievementSessions.”

Employers don’t use credit scores.  I looked into it.


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

AOL’s false information under a new name

As the chairman and CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong (who, actually, thinks he is Donald Trump) is in charge of a lot of stuff.

Sometime between June, 2011 and today, he rejiggered it, and created a dead link in the process.

How does he expect anybody to keep track of his errors?

Here are some more.

He published, “Additionally, employers must notify the job seeker if their credit score was the reason they were not hired” (as if that is possible in the known universe–employers do not use credit scores).

Elsewhere in in his realm (of non-reality): “Ninety percent of banks use credit scores when they determine finance charges such as interest rates on mortgages and other loans. But it doesn’t stop there — potential employers, insurance companies, landlords, and a host of others use these scores as well.”

Here’s another doozy in the Huffington Post. Obliviously, Armstrong let some guy write, “Last fall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Boehner described changes like the chained CPI and more means-testing of premiums for affluent Medicare beneficiaries as (in McConnell’s words) “the kinds of things that would get Republicans interested in new revenue.”

Senator McConnell–while a fine man–is not in the majority party.

But, this is the best: “House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an ingenious plan to save us: Repeal Obamacare!”

Wrong party, wrong body.

Mr. Armstrong, meet Mr. Case.

Open letter to Murdoch: 5-year credit score nightmare

Further investigation into the efficacy of a social media message

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 7:37 AM
To: Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO, News Corporation (via Julie Henderson)
Cc: Andrew Housser, co-founder & CEO, Bills.com; Michael Lewis, VP/general manager, KTBC FOX 7, Austin, News Corporation; Danielle Douglas, reporter, Washington Post
Subject: credit score, employers, KTBC-TV, Austin, Fox Television Stations, Inc., News Corporation

An open letter to Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
News Corporation

Dear Mr. Murdoch:

You published, “A poor credit score can haunt you throughout adulthood, affecting your ability to rent an apartment, finance a car, buy a home or even land your dream job.”

This thing is not a dream; it is a 5-year nightmare.  As I already told you, employers do not use credit scores.  The myth [is] now out of control and has begun having serious consequences.  Send a memo about this to all points of your empire, now.

Please, make it stop.  I’ll talk to you through social media.

Are these messages about the truth getting through to you?  Haven’t you even noticed the big stink?  Are you there, sir?


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

Encounter with billionaire about credit score myth

[PREVIOUS EMAIL]

From: Gilbert, Dan
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 10:53 AM
To: Quilty, David; Albery, Todd
Cc: ‘greg@creditscoring.com’
Subject: Fw: Your horrible, recurring errors

Todd and David,

I truly cannot follow this guy’s point below.

Maybe it got lost through all of the bitterness and anger in his email, but as always, I know you guys will try to get to the bottom of it and understand the feedback to determine if there is a change that needs to take place.

Please keep me posted.

Thank you.
Dan G.

[by “below,” Gilbert refers to previous email]

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 12:17 PM
To: Dan Gilbert, Fathead
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow

Employers do not use credit scores, but your website said (before the error disappeared (“score” is even gone from its headline)), again, that they do.

What don’t you understand about that?


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

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 1:02 PM
To: Todd Albery, Leader of the Webolution, Quizzle LLC
Cc: Dan Gilbert, Fathead; David Quilty, senior editor, Quizzle LLC
Subject: RE: Your horrible, recurring errors, follow II

Hello, Skippy.

Your error disappeared!  Apparently, lax control is the way to become a billionaire.

I’m still waiting for your boss to reply.  In the meantime, take a look at this.  quickenloans.com states, “Don’t forget: Many employers also check credit scores, especially when you’re in the hiring process.”

Wrong.

Also, some guy wrote (and, Mr. Gilbert left on his website for three years), “If you recognize that maintaining a good credit score is a necessary evil in today’s society because insurers, employers and lenders check scores when making offers, you might consider damage to your credit score a negative consequence of walking away from a mortgage.”

Wrong again.

On that guy’s website, you find the reliability meme, as in: “You can complain about this all that you want, but your whining won’t stop from potential employers from checking out your credit score. The justification that I heard is that an employer will want to see if you’re reliable.”

That was “posted” (as the mommy bloggers say) by yet another guy who tells young people, “Your future employers WILL look at your credit score.”

Elsewhere, that guy gushes: “If you want to build your [CENSORED] for ‘credit score’ or ‘debt management’ than[SIC] just say so! Ask me for my advertising rates and I’m sure that we could work something out.”

Yikes.


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

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]

Daily slog o’ da blog: What credit score are you talking about?

Da nooz of da day

A wild ride down a rabbit hole in New Jersey, the expert meets the dean of dating disasters and that (you know what).

Jersey

nj.com (aka the Star-Ledger) publishes a letter from a reader, one “Harry in Basking Ridge,” who says he has a credit score that would be outrageously high on one score’s scale.  He got it by applying for a credit card (an important point).  But, he wants to know, essentially, why certain things “adversely” affect his score, and why the system could see his credit file as negative.

Here’s the thing: In theory, all credit scores are all negative, unless perfect. And, they all come with reasons that the score is not higher. The only other non-negative possibility is Dave Ramsey‘s oft-repeated misinformation piece: No score due to lack of, or insufficient, credit history (just not enough data to go on to even calculate a score).

Reporters will be reporters, so the scribe with the by-line plows right in without getting clarification.  Along for the ride is another willing quotable person as the newspaper reporter gives a wild explanation considering a multitude of fun facts, possibilities and speculations–about FICO scores, another score brand, a home equity line of credit, a personal line of credit, dubious advice about the proportion of balances to credit limits on revolving accounts and even mistaken identity.

Then, it goes off the rails with a comment about “default issues.”

Harry, that’s probably insulting, so a let’s talk.

While we’re waiting for him to make contact, consider a deeper implication of his scenario. Recent credit score disclosures, required by law, leave much to the imagination. One might say “Scores range from a low of 300 to a high of 850,” but what credit score it refers to is anybody’s guess.

Some disclosures say, “Your credit score ranks higher than [x] percent of U.S. consumers.”  What the reader’s disclosure said in that regard is a mystery.

But, in a very peculiar case, another publication by the same company touched on the issue without even knowing it. If only

Dating (again)

Out of the disclosure rabbit hole (for now), we bravely head into the Fox hole known as dating. The newspaper named the New York Times made it all the rage this year with a lovely little Christmas day tale, but unfortunately for the Times, the facts (and errors by the Times presented as facts) are unraveling.

Now, Experian (whose hanger-on-to the Queen chairman, himself, is a story) jumps in with its freecreditscore.com band brand and a survey (catnip for journalists; see LSU, below).

But who wouldn’t want to see the ever-ebullient Dean of Dating, chuckling Chucky-Chuck Woolery, again?! He’s the expert on love, and John Ulzheimer is the expert on credit scores. Take a look, and come back in 2 and 2.

Of all the Chucks, this guy is, well, one of them (because the best still rocks (‘n rolls)).

The takeaway for industry: Conduct a survey and get press, but be careful what you wish for.

The takeaway for citizens–consumers of news/infotainment: Don’t believe a thing that freecreditscore.com (Experian) says, despite their funny lip-synching, loveable loser band commercials.

Fox in the FOX house

“A poor credit score can haunt you throughout adulthood, affecting your ability  to rent an apartment, finance a car, buy a home or even land your dream job.” – some guy, yesterday, published on a Fox Television Stations website

So, here we are.  After 5 years, we still get a bald-faced and unsupported false statement like that. It is horrible. Notice the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t change regarding a Louisiana State University study on a Rupert Murdoch website, the honorable correction by another party and the myth of the decade, still, on government websites.

Senate Majority Leader; credit scores

This is an allegory to The McConnell Bind, a method to force corrections of big-media articles containing errors of fact about credit scores.

The corollary, Senate Majority Leader, starts here, and ties inaccurate credit score articles to screw-ups about U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) position in the legislature. Ignoring one is irresponsible.  Ignoring the other is downright un-American.

Here goes.

A Washington Post Writer’s Group piece, released in syndication, states, inaccurately, “Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid predicted at a news conference in Las Vegas that ‘immigration is going to pass the House of Representatives’ and insisted that ‘if [the GOP] were smart, they would take [the Senate] bill’ and start from there.”

But, it is elementary: Senator Reid is the majority (not minority) leader.

The tie-in:  In 2009, the Washington Post published this needlessly scary thought: “And a lower credit score means you pay more for the money you borrow. It can also mean higher insurance rates for your home or car, or worse, the loss of a job.”

Of course, employers do not use credit scores, so relax (and don’t believe da Post’s other scribblings, either).

The first attempt at contact (in this round), regarding this matter of American history, was social media.  That having failed, email is next, and then, if that doesn’t work, the postcard!

Consumer Reports error in July, 2013 issue

Email didn’t work.  Calling for his resignation didn’t work.  An overnight train trip to his office didn’t work.  And now, in this month’s edition, in an unsubstantiated screed by its president and CEO, Consumer Reports magazine misinforms consumers about credit scores again.

James Guest writes, “The score that lenders really use may factor into your chances of getting a car loan, a mortgage, or a job, and into what you’ll pay in interest, as a deposit for rent and utilities, and, in many states, for insurance.”

Five years on, as the truth implodes in statehouses, this strange chapter is more fascinating than ever.  Get the history, and read the story about Consumer Reports (and the governor of the State of New York) on the Credit Scoring Site.