04-16-2011 02:48 PM
Did anybody else experience that?
When I checked my credit, I noticed that 8(!!) POSITIVE and OLD accounts (all closed, paid off and never late) which are still reporting on Experian and TransUnion are simply GONE on my Equifax-file. They are still way below the 10-year mark for reporting and the fact that they report to the other bureaus makes me think that it's obviously an issue with Equifax.
Can they simply dump my positive tradelines?
I already contacted the creditors of these accounts and requested them to report to Equifax as well - but what if they claim they did report? Is this lawful? Can a CRA all of a sudden decide what they want to report and what not?
04-16-2011 04:14 PM
04-16-2011 04:43 PM - edited 04-16-2011 04:46 PM
The accounts (probably) fell off at a time where I wasn't doing much with my credit. At that time, I wasn't actively pulling my credit-report either. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I would have gotten a split-file due to excessive credit-pulling, I should have noticed the disappearance of these 8 accounts either from one day to the next or one after the other. I also obtained my free annual report 2 months ago and only received one credit-file. Same happened when I disputed several items - only 1 updated file was delivered.
On Equifax, there was a time in the past where many collection-accounts were added to my account. They also pulled my credit now and then - but I can't say that was excessive. The number of accounts, however, was.
All accounts removed were closed and due to that fact that they were closed, they haven't been updated by the OC for quite some time. So only inactive accounts were removed. The open TLs - even the old ones - are still there.
I googled this issue before and it seems to happen quite often. It seems Equifax has an outdated system and can only handle a very limited amount of data.
I'll give Equifax a call but chances are slim to none they can do anything. After all, I can't dispute what's NOT on file..
However, I'm hoping the OCs can do something by "refreshing" the accounts in question. That should make the TLs "active" again and could bring them back. 3 of the accounts were current, never late and paid off auto loans and leases. Since I just came out of my BK-discharge, it is so crucial to me to have these accounts on file once I want to purchase a new car. When I recently applied for a loan, 9 out of 10 potential lenders pulled Equifax. No wonder I was declined. My score was 617 - probably my auto-score. Now guess what that score could have been with the deleted accounts...
04-16-2011 04:49 PM - edited 04-16-2011 05:25 PM
Unfortunately, there are absolutely no requirements in the FCRA regulating how long closed accounts must remain in your credit file. The FCRA only regulates how long negative items in your credit file can be included in any credit report issued by a CRA. Deletion of accounts distorts the entire credit reporting and scoring system, and should be regulated for several reasons.
The FCRA does cover, in a very general way, the issue of disposal of records by a CRA See FCRA 628. The requirements of that section of statute only speccify that the deletion of records must not alter or effect any requirement under any other provision of law, and that any procedures used to dispose of records must be coordinated with the other CRAs, I have never seen the rules that were required to have been published one year after the implementation of section 628 back in 2004.
Deletion of old accounts affects both consumers and creditors. Consumers lose the length of credit history for deleted accounts, and certain creditors lose the ability to view certain items in a consumer credit file that the FCRA entitles them to see. For example, the reporting restrictions of FCRA 605(a), such as 7 years for OC account monthly derogs and 7 years plus 180-days for collections and charge-offs are not absolute. FCRA 605(b) permits certain creditors for higher-principal credit transactions ($150,000 or more) to obatin a complete CR that includes the normally restricted items under FCRA 605(a).
So why do the CRAs do this? Convenience and savings for them. They obviously need to purge their huge database at some time. They save money in database size and management, and computer time in generating credit reports.
They legitimize this practice under the assumption that once they can no longer NORMALLY include information in your credit file in credit reports they issue, ignoring the fact that such CR restrictions are not absolute, that the account is no longer of importance, at least to them.
The ten-year deletion assumption is apparently based on the fact that all of the common CR exclusion periods under FCRA 605(a) expire after 10 years (except for unpaid tax liens). Shortening that period down to 7 1/2 years would, in their mind, cover all OC account delinquencies and any charge-offs or collections. So, under their apparent logic. anything older than 7 1/2 years from closing date would be fair game for deletion.
With the obvious importance of credit scoring, the CRA account deletion practices are, in my opinion, a disregard for the integrity of the credit reporting system, and should be regulated. 15 years seens like a fairer period to me.
04-16-2011 05:02 PM
I can only agree, RobertEG!
I'm curious: Don't OCs have agreements or are "members" with the CRAs? If so do CRAs get money from the OCs? If yes, I can only imagine that an OC would indeed care if a CRA deletes certain information. That is not an FCRA-issue but it could be a breach of contract between the OC and the CRA. After all, if the CRA is simply deleting accounts, why should the OC pay for that "service"?
If somebody is looking at my Equifax report, it makes the impression that my credit-history started with my financial problems in 2006 and not in 2002 when I moved to the States. This is ridiculous.
So if the OCs "grant" my request and update, I somehow have my doubts that 8 derogatory accounts will be deleted.
Do the OCs actually have an option to re-report these accounts in a way that they seem to be more current than my older, derogatory account? I assume a re-reporting should cause an update in the "last reported"-section...
04-16-2011 05:11 PM
Yes, creditors, in order to report to a CRA, undergo a site investigation by the CRA of their reporting practices and capabilites, and if approved, enter into a reporting contract with the CRA that includes fees. I guess the creditors just dont care.....
04-16-2011 06:10 PM
Don't fret. I lost 7 tradelines at 5-7 years off my EQ a few years back. Good luck with calling. A number of CSR asked for old report numbers with the tradelines listed and after giving them 10 report numbers and having no one find any of them I just gave up. It wasn't worth all the negative energy.
The good news is that after 3 years my EQ is my highest score with 1 account reporting a balance.
04-16-2011 06:23 PM
The good news is that after 3 years my EQ is my highest score with 1 account reporting a balance.
Funny you're mentioning that. Although the tradelines are missing, my "general" FICO on Equifax is also significantly higher than my TU - about 40 points. The only difference between the two is that it says on TU, I have 3 collections and none on Equifax ALTHOUGH these 3 accounts are reported on Equifax as well - just as regular accounts. That made me wonder because I though FICO would generally be able to recognize a collectin - no matter if it shows up as "collection" or "regular account".
That only leaves the question if the Auto-enhanced score on Equifax is higher than TU, too...
04-17-2011 08:57 PM
Maybe you're in a younger-history score bucket due to EQ dumping your old closed accounts, so any negatives hurt less.
It isn't just a split file that can happen from "excessive" soft pulls. Sometimes EQ just deletes closed accounts without splitting the file, which happened with me.
I had an old account deleted, and I was pretty upset until I found that my score rose by a few points. The late on that account, although old, was hurting me by being inclluded in the number of accounts with lates. But that's just where I was at that time. At another time, I might have lost points instead.
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