Attorney General Jim Hood is asking Mississippians to contact his office if they are having difficulty correcting errors on their credit reports. This consumer alert comes in response to the fact that all civil judgments should be removed by now, after reporting mistakes by the top credit agencies were discovered and addressed in recent years.
“Our office required Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to change their business practices after we opened an investigation in 2016 into their mistakes on credit reports. Civil judgments should no longer appear on reports after June 2018, but they have until 2020 to finish making other changes,” General Hood explained. “Navigating an error on your credit can be insanely difficult. My bank failed to make an automatic withdrawal, but my bank could not fix the error. I had to. After their online system was trying to force me to provide information I did not have, I called one of the companies and they were trying to make me send a copy of my passport and driver’s license because they had my deceased father’s credit history co-mingled with mine. These companies have made billions buying and selling our personal information without compensating us. Yet, when the company places an erroneous charge or information on our credit report, it is almost impossible to make them fix it.”
Anyone who is having difficulty correcting errors should call the AG’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-281-4418 or 601-359-4230.
General Hood launched an extensive investigation into credit reporting practices in 2013 after his office received numerous complaints from Mississippi consumers about credit report errors and difficulty in correcting those errors. General Hood was particularly concerned about errors in the reporting of information related to public records, including civil judgments and tax liens. The credit reporting agencies agreed to institute significant reforms beginning in 2017 and going through 2020. The reforms are related to the reporting of public records, as well as an agreement to conduct focused reviews of the worst debt collectors in Mississippi, address problems identified during the review, and implement new procedures for accurately reporting debts that are extinguished under Mississippi law, among other reforms. Last year, the credit reporting agencies announced enhanced standards for reporting public records. According to the agencies, approximately half of tax liens were not expected to satisfy the enhanced standards and would no longer be reported.