Credit Triage: CFPB

AT LAST. Finally. It’s about time.

For 30 years my credit report has been falsely comingled with the credit report of a deadbeat, and all attempts to permanently remedy this situation have been futile. “Your only alternative is to sue the credit bureaus for their mistake,” I was told, after hours, days, weeks, of aggravation.

Of course I never did. It wasn’t worth it, just for the privilege of opening a credit account in my own name. It was pretty easy to get my husband to show up to help me buy the cell phone contract — a contract that my supposedly lousy credit record would not let me buy. All because the credit bureaus confused my records with another Barbara whose Social Security was almost exactly like mine, one digit off. To escape dunning phone calls and emails, I have to send caveat notices to each credit bureau every three months.

Now. At last. Finally. Another woman got revenge. Today’s New York Times article An $18 million Lesson in Handling Credit Report Errors by Tara Siegel Bernard, tells of a 57-year-old nurse who won $18 million in punitive damages in federal court. And the article explains all about how these mistakes happen (mistaken identity must be fixed with human hands).

News You Can Use: The recently created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers all kinds of helpful information plus a complaint platform that might help fix whatever egregious mistake that has harmed you financially. The CFPB, just two years old, is one area of government that is actually working. It offers major help to student loan borrowers. And in two years it has returned $430 million into the pockets of wronged consumers.

I plan to use the CFPB complaint desk to refresh my 30-year-battle with the credit bureaus. I don’t think I’ll get $18 million, but perhaps, finally, I’ll get satisfaction… No more telephone calls or court summonses for my dead beat doppelganger.

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