It's all too easy to destroy someone's credit

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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MemberSince99
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It's all too easy to destroy someone's credit

Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:00 am

I've been thinking about how easy it is for some rogue outfit to either intentionally or mistakenly ruin your credit.

As the system is now, pretty much anyone can put anything they like in it and it's up to you to prove that what was put is not accurate. (And you aren't really allowed to do that through the credit agencies; if the other party "verifies" what they put, simply by saying it's accurate, it's assumed they are correct and it stays).

This seems kind of lame and bogus to me, because anyone can put a collection on your credit who has the information and ability to do so, which can destroy your credit, and even cause your current creditors to slash your lines or dump you (and if they dump you, even if you manage to have the bogus information removed, you are pretty much SOL). Thus, your credit remains damaged for quite a period of time. I've read stories of people basically being blackmailed into paying debts that weren't even theirs because of this and the fact it was cheaper to pay off the crooks than to fight.

Has anyone really thought about what BS this is?

In my opinion, the system ought to allow you a chance to respond and dispute negative information BEFORE it appears on your credit, and force anyone putting negative information to reasonably prove it's you and the information is accurate. If they can't give reasonable (reasonable being the keyword here) proof, it shouldn't go on your credit, period.

But we simply do not have a consumer friendly system, and I would not expect to see anything like this ever. But what we have is pretty basically unjust if you really think about it. I've personally disputed bogus information and seen how difficult it can be to remove even if the law says it should not be on your report - what the law says doesn't really affect the people who put that information there or at least they have no fear of violating it has been my experience. A law with no teeth is no law at all just a suggestion, and thus you will have plenty of people who have no problem ignoring it.


DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:20 am

MemberSince99 wrote:As the system is now, pretty much anyone can put anything they like in it and it's up to you to prove that what was put is not accurate. (And you aren't really allowed to do that through the credit agencies; if the other party "verifies" what they put, simply by saying it's accurate, it's assumed they are correct and it stays).


Not true at all. We have gotten incorrect information removed and in the process got an executive of a major collection agency fired In a retailatory last act he made some fraudulent reports against us. That almost landed him in jail after we pursued charges. We were also able to get things corrected within 24 hours by being demanding and proactive and working directly with the general counsel of the publicly listed national firm as well as the credit reporting agencies. Even our attorney said it could not be done but what did he know. All it took was documentation that we were right and that the moron who made the reports acted illegally and with malice.

Mistakes are one thing. But the situation you describe is criminal behavior and you can pursue prosecution of the person who did it and their company if they do not act immediately to correct. The FCRA gives them time limits for mistakes. But intentional damage as you describe is a crime with no grace period. If you have evidence, any reputable company and even the reporting agencies will act quickly.

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:06 pm

Knowing it and proving it to a court are two different things, or even proving it in general. As an example, we all know perfectly well that employers routinely violate the law in regards to criminal background and employment. Knowing it is one thing, proving it to a court is another thing.

Say you got arrested for disorderly contact in your 20s. Now some corporation extends an offer, checks your credit/criminal history/terror watch list/employement/references/polygraph/psych test/IQ test/personality test/interviews with neighbors/FBI fingerprint check etc etc etc ad nauseum, and sees that and even though it has nothing to do with your current position revokes the offer. If you were to corner them as to a reason, they won't tell you directly why because that leaves them open to a lawsuit, they will say they found a better qualified candidate or pick another reason that is legal, and what do you think the odds of you proving it in court are?

My guess is - I'd put a LOT of money on you not being able to prove it. Oh don't get me wrong, I'm sure you are correct and that's exactly what they did, but it comes down to "he-said she-said" and you have to prove their intent. Good luck with that, they pretty much have to be morons to allow you to do that. (I.E. telling you in front of witnesses why you weren't hired).

So the moral of the story is, if you got one of them, great, but you vastly beat the odds, and in most cases they have very little or NO fear at all of that. So congrats to you, but you know it doesn't happen much.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:45 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:Say you got arrested for disorderly contact in your 20s. Now some corporation extends an offer, checks your credit/criminal history/terror watch list/employement/references/polygraph/psych test/IQ test/personality test/interviews with neighbors/FBI fingerprint check etc etc etc ad nauseum, and sees that and even though it has nothing to do with your current position revokes the offer. If you were to corner them as to a reason, they won't tell you directly why because that leaves them open to a lawsuit, they will say they found a better qualified candidate or pick another reason that is legal, and what do you think the odds of you proving it in court are?


As someone who hires people now and then I somewhat agree with you on this. I work for a large organization that definitely complies with the law. So I can't make decisions on or even ask about a lot of things. But I do get to know some stuff because the environment and job duties involve and environment where things like driving record, criminal background, and even credit are relevant. Besides, in general if I have to choose between a candidate with who frequently doesn't pay bills, has a DUI, and has a history of getting in bar fights, and another one with a clean record and good credit, why wouldn't I choose the second one? Even if the first might be a little more qualified, he has demonstrated by his behavior that he is not very responsible of mature. I think that is how a lot of people think.

In my experience at several different employers, I will say that I have never seen any situation where there was any intent to break any laws regarding hiring, and I honestly don't think we ever did so unintentionally either. But at the same time I think many of the laws are too restrictive. I do not want to hire people who are going to steal from me or otherwise be a problem. If I look at their past behavior and they have not behaved very well, I am definitely going to take that into consideration even if it is not directly relevant because it shows the person does not respect the law, does not respect others, or whatever. I don't care about silly personality tests and that kinds of garbage. But a disorderly conduct arrest is something that would concern me if I were made aware of it. That candidate should at least have a very good explanation of why they behaved like an idiot and a spotless record since then to prove they learned a good lesson.

The ironic thing is, I have held high level security clearances. I have had my credit, arrests, finances, personality, drug use, and even ***ual history put under a microscope and I still got the "job." But when I hired people to work with me in that context I could not even ask about most of that stuff. i would just have to waste my time hiring and paying people for a few months until the government told me they could not be cleared then would have to get rid of them.

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:56 pm

It's hard for me to comprehend that your ***ual history had much to do with any job, except if you work in porn, but there is just no end to the nosiness of employers these days it seems.

And I know for a clearance they will say well we have to be sure someone can't seduce classified information out of you. Pretty hard to judge that to be honest, I'm sure JFK had access to classified information for example but look at him. Just saying.

Anyway we are going way off topic here, but that's not necessarily bad either.

I can tell you that as a young adult, I had my moments. I have nothing on my record, but I had my moments. For everyone that gets a record how many do you figure could have but just didn't get caught?

Regardless of the excuses used to justify not hiring people based on unrelated convictions, the bottom line is - it is still illegal. Period. If you look at what the law says it's illegal. You can tell me until you are blue in the face why this behavior demonstrates someone I have question marks about, and I'll say yeah it does, no doubt, but to revoke an offer based on that, according to the law, is still illegal. So in a sense, if you do that, you are doing what the person who you have concerns about did (breaking the law) and aren't so free to judge after all, if you really think about it, it's just that you will likely never be proven to have done so but you did all the same. Maybe that ought to give others concern as well? You might argue it's not relevant to anything, well perhaps neither is a disorderly conduct when you had a bit much to drink at your local block party when you could legally drink and the cops got a bit heavy handed and wanted to teach you a lesson too. We could make a good case for that. Everyone I know has had their moments in life they wouldn't want to be on the front page of the local paper. Some get made an example of, some should be made an example of, and some never run into trouble with it.

Just saying.

Anyway on the subject of your credit, I've had companies I would have loved to have been able to put things in THEIR credit about I can tell you that....probably just as well I couldn't do that. When I was in college I wrote software to make extra money (and was still broke but all college students are) and a company flat out stiffed me on payments I should have gotten for the sale of my software. It was actually a personal thing, the guy apparently had a thing for his secretary and we had talked on the phone and flirted a bit and back then you paid for L/D by the minute, she had called me so it was on his dime, but he thought I ought to pay for it and he was hacked off that I flirted with her over the phone (nothing nasty just harmless flirting) and decided to stick it to me. It was a good chunk of change several hundred dollars I was owed. Not to mention having to lock my software down so they could no longer sell it, and advise people not to purchase from them and all this kind of thing that makes you look bad. You have to be careful who you do business with is what I learned from that, a bad business partner can hurt you.

DoingHomework
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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:23 pm

MemberSince99 wrote:It's hard for me to comprehend that your ***ual history had much to do with any job, except if you work in porn, but there is just no end to the nosiness of employers these days it seems.

And I know for a clearance they will say well we have to be sure someone can't seduce classified information out of you. Pretty hard to judge that to be honest, I'm sure JFK had access to classified information for example but look at him. Just saying.


That's exactly what it is. If you have secret lovers or unconventional proclivities, shall we say, someone could blackmail you. That is entirely relevant when you have access to confidential commercial information or government information. It ends up applying to millions of people.

So while you might think something is illegal to ask, almost anything is legal to consider if it is relevant to the job. Everyone wants a receptionist to be attractive, a dancer to be hot, a doctor to have a good bedside manner, and so forth.

Asking about arrests is currently a grey area. I expect it will be banned soon because certain groups have a much higher arrest rate and that leads to inadvertant discrimination. But I doubt that it will ever be illegal to ask about convictions.



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