Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fair Isaac filed anti-trust suit against Equifax, Trans Union and VantageScore

Fair Isaac sues credit-scoring companies

Thursday October 12, 3:11 pm ET

Fair Isaac Corp. said Thursday that it has filed an antitrust lawsuit against three agencies that have partnered to launch their own credit-scoring system, VantageScore.
Fair Isaac said the three agencies—Equifax Inc., Experian Information Solutions Inc. and TransUnion—are using anti-competitive practices to market their new product.

Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac has its own credit-scoring system, FICO. All three defendants have the ability to set a price for what a lender pays for FICO scores, and can also set prices for VantageScore. This ability allows the companies to unfairly promote their product by manipulating pricing, Fair Isaac argues.

“We have competed against the credit-report agencies’ scoring products for many years, and we are happy to compete on a level playing field,” said Tom Grudnowski, CEO of Fair Isaac, in a statement. “However, the recent agreement between the three powerhouse agencies unfairly threatens our ability to compete and inhibits the ability of consumers and lenders to enjoy the benefits of continued innovation, choice and competition in the credit-information marketplace.”

Fair Isaac (NYSE: FIC - News) is a credit-scoring and software company.

Published October 12, 2006 by the Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal

This has to be about as absurd as it gets! Hopefully they’ll waste a TON of money on suing each other and MAYBE somebody will file the lawsuit on behalf of consumers.

After all, creditors pay PENNIES for credit reports and scores and the CRAs and Fair Isaac conspire to OVERCHARGE consumers, charging literally thousands of percent more to consumers than to businesses for the same products.

CreditData Southwest paid 15 cents per FICO score

There you have it ... and what are the “consumer advocates” doing?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Computer Security: ChoicePoint's Lessons Learned

Computer Security: ChoicePoint's Lessons Learned
By Todd Spangler

A year and a half after mistakenly selling consumer info to criminals, the data broker says it has put in dozens of new policies and procedures to make sure such a security breach doesn't happen again.

A rash of security breaches has hit the headlines recently, chief among them the theft of a Department of Veterans Affairs' laptop with data on 26.5 million vets. Perhaps the best advice on how to respond if your company is caught in the line of fire comes from one that has been there itself: consumer data broker ChoicePoint.

In February 2005, ChoicePoint acknowledged that it had mistakenly sold personal information on thousands of individuals—as it turned out, more than 163,000 people—to bogus companies set up by Nigerian criminals (see ChoicePoint: Blur, from Baseline's June 2005 issue).

The Federal Trade Commission this January fined the Alpharetta, Ga.-based company $15 million for the disclosures.

Carol DiBattiste, ChoicePoint's chief credentialing, compliance and privacy officer, says the company has taken numerous steps in the past year to make sure such a breach never happens again.

"There's not a company around today that takes security more seriously than we do," claims DiBattiste, who joined ChoicePoint in March 2005 after serving as deputy administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. She says ChoicePoint has passed 43 security and privacy audits in the past year.

Gartner analyst Avivah Litan says ChoicePoint's security practices are now extremely strict—and appear to be among the best in any industry. "When you're fined and caught after a data breach," she says, "you really shape up."

Some of ChoicePoint's changes involved business practices. The company says it has improved customer-screening procedures, verifying their authenticity via multiple sources and by physically visiting their premises. It also now provides personally identifying information like Social Security numbers only as part of consumer-initiated transactions (as when someone applies for a home loan), as part of fraud-prevention programs or when requested by law enforcement officials.

But ChoicePoint has also tightened the screws on its information-technology infrastructure, with what DiBattiste says are more than 30 new policies and procedures.

It's enhanced user ID and password protections—if employees forget their passwords, they must take a five-question quiz (example: "What year was your Social Security number issued?") to reset it; if they fail that, they must pass a 15-question quiz with a systems administrator.

ChoicePoint has blocked access to its network from all non-U.S. Internet addresses, with a few exceptions that DiBattiste declined to detail. It has put employees at each of its 60 U.S. locations in charge of verifying the destruction of outdated consumer information, which the company is required by law to dispose of.

And the company now encrypts all data feeds to the three major credit bureaus as well as certain information stored in its databases, such as credit card numbers. DiBattiste adds that a project to move to laptop encryption "across the board" is still in the works.

Another new measure: ChoicePoint this month created a security advisory committee comprised of DiBattiste, the company's CIO, head of internal audit, the chief business officer, chief marketing officer, chief administrative officer and general counsel. The group meets regularly "to ensure we're hitting every aspect of security and privacy," says DiBattiste.
"One of the lessons we learned is that security is a moving target," she says. "The bad guys move too. So we have to constantly be in touch with the things we need to be doing to respond."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Credit Bureaus Hope to Displace FICO Score as Industry Standard

June 22, 2006

The Experian credit agency became the first to start selling its new "VantageScore" credit scoring system this week. Critics aren't impressed.

John Ulzheimer of the credit information Web site CreditBloggers said that the hype over the VantageScore was "nothing more than an effort to confuse consumers and unsophisticated lenders."

"I'm not angry at the bureaus for trying to muscle out FICO," Ulzheimer said. "[M]y question is could they have spent their collaborative time together more constructively for consumers?"

The three credit bureaus jointly developed VantageScore as an alternative to the lending score created by the Fair Isaac Company (FICO), which is the standard score used by lenders to judge a borrower's creditworthiness.

For $5.95 a pop, users can buy the Experian VantageScore and see where the new credit system ranks them in terms of attractiveness to lenders. The new VantageScore system grades consumers on a number scale from 501 to 990, with a corresponding letter grade of "F" to "A."
Experian information solutions group president Kerry Williams says the new score "responded to the clear need for an objective scoring model that works across all three reporting companies' data."

Currently, Experian and fellow credit bureau TransUnion offer their own "proprietary" credit scores with the reports borrowers can purchase, but these scores are often wildly divergent from a consumer's real FICO score.

Although the bureaus claim these scores are "educational," they're heavily advertised as being legitimate credit scores that borrowers can use to judge their credit stability. Lenders, however, largely prefer the traditional FICO score, due to its longevity and prominence in the industry.
Equifax, the third of the "Big Three" credit bureaus, has been offering its true FICO scores with its reports. The scoring formula FICO uses has been closely guarded by the company as a trade secret, and the major credit bureaus have to pay Fair Isaac a licensing fee to use it in their credit scoring and reports.

CreditBloggers founder Emily Davidson purchased her VantageScore on June 20th and compared it to her Experian FICO score. According to Davidson, the ordering process was clumsy and counterintuitive, and the score ranking did not include information from her Experian credit report.

"Experian's VantageScore was difficult to interpret and their ordering system was poorly designed," she said. "If the bureaus are serious about competing with FICO, they need to work on making this score the best in the industry for both consumers and businesses."
The new credit score system has been criticized for making the same mistake as the current credit scoring system -- relying on inadequate or inaccurate data reported to the bureaus.
Sloppy record-keeping, mixing of different consumer records, and complex dispute resolution processes mean that even if the three bureaus are sharing the same score, they're still relying on bad data to make their scoring decisions.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mortgage rate can't go up if lending bank is bought!

DAVID MYERS: Mortgage rate can't go up if lending bank is bought

June 4, 2006

Dear David: I was lucky enough to refinance when mortgage rates bottomed out at about 5.5% last year. Now, the bank that gave me the mortgage is being purchased by another lender. Can the new lender raise my rate?

Dear Reader: The terms of your mortgage cannot be changed simply because your current lender is being purchased by another bank. About the only thing the new lender can do is require that your monthly payments be sent to a different address.

Dear David: We are interested in creating a basic living trust, so we purchased two books about estate planning to learn more. One of the books recommends that in addition to creating a trust, people should also sign a "durable power of attorney for finances" form. Is this really necessary?
Dear Reader: You're not required to sign a durable power document to create a money-saving trust, but many homeowners choose to do so for personal reasons.

Forming a simple living trust is an inexpensive way to help ensure that your home and other assets will pass quickly to your heirs instead of going through the long and costly probate proceedings that are mandated by a typical will. When you die, the successor trustee you selected can distribute your home according to your wishes.

If you also sign a durable power of attorney form, you'll give the successor trustee the additional ability to take care of any assets that you left outside the trust. The forms are available for about $5 at most business-supply stores.

Dear David: I recently applied to refinance my mortgage. Instead of giving me a FICO credit score like I have received in the past, the lender used something called a "VantageScore." What is that?

Dear Reader: A California-based company called Fair Isaac revolutionized the credit-reporting industry several years ago when it developed the FICO score, which many lenders use today when setting the interest rate to charge on everything from mortgages to credit cards.
VantageScore was developed by the nation's three largest credit bureaus. The system assigns a letter grade to each applicant's rating -- an "A" for borrowers who are in the top 901 to 990 bracket, a "B" for those in the 801 to 900 range, and so on down to "F." The higher your VantageScore, the lower your loan rate.

VantageScore was unveiled earlier this year. Though its scoring system should be easier for most consumers to understand, only time will tell whether it can replace the FICO system.

Contact DAVID MYERS at P.O. Box 2960, Culver City, CA 90231-2960.
Copyright © 2006 Detroit Free Press Inc.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Submit Your Complaints to the FTC Online

Federal Trade Commission Title: Advance Notice of Proposed RulemakingSubject Category: Procedures to Enhance the Accuracy and Integrity of Information Furnished to Consumer Reporting

16 CFR Parts 660 and 661Published: March 22, 2006 View Notice (PDF) (Download Adobe Reader)Comments Due: Monday, May 22, 2006

How To Comment: The Commission in

vites interested parties to comment and submit information useful for developing guidelines and regulations required by Section 312 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. This is part of a joint rulemaking initiative where several agencies must:

establish guidelines for use by persons that furnish information to consumer reporting agencies regarding the accuracy and integrity of the furnished information and establish reasonable policies and procedures for implementing those guidelines.

Section 312 also requires the "Agencies" jointly to prescribe regulations that identify the circumstances under which a furnisher shall be required to reinvestigate a dispute concerning the accuracy of information contained in a consumer report based on a direct request of the consumer Privacy & Use The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at

Any information placed in the following fields on this form -- "Title," "First Name," "Last Name," "Organization Name,' "State," "Postal Code," "Country,' "Comments," and "Attachment" -- will be publicly available on the FTC Web site. Although filling out this comment form is voluntary, the fields marked with an asterisk are required in order for the FTC to fully consider a particular comment. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site.

More information, including other routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC’s privacy policy, at Accessibility If you are unable to access this form, click here for an alternate method of submitting a public comment.

Friday, May 05, 2006

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How to Comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act Teleseminar series

How to Comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act Teleseminar series

What: To supplement its online How to Comply with the FCRA subscription service (click here for more information), CDIA launched a series of distance learning opportunities to educate the industry on credit reporting issues.

Who: There are specific teleseminars are targeted at different groups that must comply with the FCRA:

• CDIA Members (Consumer Reporting Agencies); and• Non-Members of the CDIA (data furnishers, law professionals and more)

Where: Anywhere! You can participate in teleseminars from the comfort of your office, home or anywhere! These are distance-learning opportunities that save you travel costs and time. Materials are distributed to participants via CDIA's website or email prior to the call.
When: Teleseminars focusing on different issues will be offered throughout the year. Scroll down for a schedule of events. This schedule is updated throughout the year.

Please see the current schedule below for currently scheduled topics, dates and to download registration forms.

Upcoming Teleseminar Dates and topics:

Note: Subscribers to CDIA's How to Comply with the FCRA service receive discounts on this teleseminar series. Click here to subscribe or to learn more.

2006 CDIA How to Comply with the FCRA Teleseminars:
Click on each of the following teleseminar titles to learn more:

Legislation & State Law Updates: A CDIA Teleseminar Featuring CDIA Vice President and Counsel of State Government and Regulatory Affairs

New FTC Issued Consent Decree on Security Breach

New Identity Theft Red Flag Rule

Legislation & State Law Updates: A CDIA Teleseminar Featuring CDIA Vice President and Counsel of State Government and Regulatory Affairs.

Featured Speaker: Eric Ellman, Consumer Data Industry Association

• Thursday, May 4, 2006
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Program Highlights:
More than half of the states in the U.S. have FCRAs in effect. They not only differ from state to state but often raise compliance issues with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act as well. Eric J. Ellman, Vice President and Counsel of State Government and Regulatory Affairs, will host a teleseminar on Thursday, April 20th & May 4th at 2:00 pm Eastern. Each teleseminar will survey state legislation in 2005 and highlight trends in new state laws that require legal and compliance attention for consumer reporting agencies, data furnishers, and data users. Included in this review will be legislation and laws that address security freezes, security breaches, the use of Social Security Numbers, and the use of credit header information.

Who Should Register: Companies who have to comply with FCRA current state laws across the United States

This call will be 60 minutes in duration and include a question and answer portion where participants can ask questions.

To register for this event, please click here.

“There was such a popular demand for this teleseminar that we are running it again on May 18th.”

FTC Issued Consent Decree on Security Breach(Speaker: Anne Fortney, Partner with the Hudson Cook, Moderator: CDIA President and CEO Stuart K. Pratt)

• Thursday, May 18, 2006
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern

CDIA has brought back by popular demand the teleseminar covering the FTC Consent Decree regarding ChoicePoint. On May 18th at 2:00 p.m., Anne Fortney, partner with The Hudson Cook law firm and former compliance official with FTC, will share her thoughts on the breach issue as it relates to the FTC actions earlier this year. Gain some insight on what this means for other companies that handle consumer information.

This event is open to both members of CDIA, as well as non-members (including data users, data furnishers and other that must comply with the FCRA).
To register for this event, please click here.

Identity Theft Red Flag Rule
Speaker: Amy Friend, Assistant Chief Counsel of the OCC, Moderator: CDIA President and CEO Stuart K. Pratt)

• Thursday, May 25, 2006
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Amy Friend, Assistant Chief Counsel of the OCC, will be available to discuss the Identity Theft Red Flag Rule at the CDIA teleseminar on May 25th at 2:00 p.m. The Rule, included in the 2003 FCRA FACTA amendments, is expected to be completed this month. You will hear not only a discussion of the just published Rule but also have your questions answered by the principal author of this Rule. You will be hearing more about this teleseminar in the coming weeks.

To register for this event, please click here.
How to Comply with the FCRA Subscription Information:
Non-Members should go to the CDIA E-Store at to subscribe to the How to Comply Service.

Members should logon to Members Only* at, select "Member E-Store" and then select "Online How to Comply with the FCRA," to purchase a subscription to How to Comply or sign up for a free 24-hour demo (redline not included in demo).

Please contact CDIAonline at with questions.
Can't participate in a Teleseminar?

Recordings are available for these events. CDIA offers Audio CDs on all its current and previous Teleseminars.

Again- Who and What is E-Oscar!

Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), in cooperation with Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion, is proud to announce the creation of a new state-of-the-art solution for processing ACDVs and AUDs. The new network, E-OSCAR, is the Online Solution for Complete and Accurate Reporting. E-OSCAR is a browser-based, Metro 2 compliant system that is secure, intelligent and intuitive.

E-OSCAR provides multiple benefits, as detailed below. We have enhanced our technology to be a web-based system. It was created with the awareness of the need for strong security around the sensitive data that will be sent through the network. We have provided a toll free industry Help Desk and, in addition, we have significant training resources available to you.

We know that as a leader in the credit industry who is concerned about the FCRA and data quality, you will want to be involved in the initial offering of E-OSCAR. Participation in the new network will provide key customers like you with any necessary personalized attention that you need during your transition. E-OSCAR is fully compliant with the new FCRA and so easy to use that you will want to become part of this new system!

Please begin the steps necessary to move from the current network onto the new one.
Alert your senior management to the upcoming changes. View the information links below to learn more about E-OSCAR. Make Use of the Implementation Checklist to plan your conversion.

What’s happening with E-OSCAR-webTM April 23, 2003

Valued Customer,

We are pleased to inform you that the E-OSCAR-web? Solution is complete and available for use. The Credit Community Network Service (CCNS) supported by Global eXchange Services (GXS, formerly GEIS) will no longer receive new ACDV transactions after May 15, 2003. You will be able to respond to these items until June 15, 2003.

In an effort to assist you with your transition and to ensure that your company is not adversely affected, the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion have prepared these instructions for you.

If you do not register with E-OSCAR and begin to use this solution to respond to disputes and/or submit automated Universal Data Forms, the National Consumer Reporting Agencies (NCRAs) will send your disputes via paper. In order to ensure that you do not receive paper disputes, you must follow the steps below and register with E-OSCAR

Register immediately at (If you have already registered, follow steps 3 and on).

We recommend that you print a copy of the registration you’ve completed, as well as, write down and keep in a safe place, the USER ID and password that you’ve created during the registration process.

Once you have received approval notice from one or more of the NCRAs, you should begin the on-line training. If you plan on having multiple users, now is the time to create a USER ID for each of those parties and be sure that all of the users have completed the on-line training prior to receiving ACDVs from the NCRAs.

During the next few weeks, we will begin the final phase of moving the transaction volume of customers from the GXS System to E-OSCAR. We would like to begin getting your AUDs as soon as your registration is approved. We will coordinate with you on transmitting your ACDVs, but we recommend beginning as soon as possible and no later than May 1.

During the registration approval process some of the NCRAs will provide you with a list of the reporting subscriber codes they show affiliated with your particular GXS mailbox. If a bureau does not, you may print off your existing Subscriber Code Table from your current GXS ACDV Software PC at your location. You will need to enter these codes into E-OSCAR after the NCRAs approve your registration. This will assist you in receiving all of your disputes via E-OSCAR without delay.

You must contact each of the NCRAs that you report to and coordinate a date that you would like to begin receiving your ACDVs. As soon as your subscriber codes are approved you may submit AUDs.

Submit the necessary request form to Global eXchange Services to cancel any active mailboxes. Please copy the NCRAs on your request (Addresses are listed at the bottom of this letter).
Respond to all ACDVs remaining in your GXS ACDV Mailbox.

Delete all subscriber codes associated with the mailbox using the GXS PC-based software; this will disable Mortgage Reporting Companies as well as NCRA Affiliates from utilizing the system thus allowing GEIS to effectively close the mailbox.

Call the E-OSCAR Help-Desk if you have any questions. 1-866-MY-OSCAR.

Contact Information: CCNS Administration Global eXchange Services, (GXS) 100 Edison Park Drive Gaithersburg, MD 20878 Help Desk (800) 892-1574 Fax- 301.340.4583

Equifax Credit Information Services Charles Saunders LaDeamya Mixon 1550 Peachtree St. Mail Drop 66N Atlanta, GA 30339 E-mail: Phone: 800-925-3329

Experian Patrick Sahf 701 Experian Parkway Allen, TX 75013. E-mail - Phone - 972-390-3610

TransUnion 2 Baldwin Place Crum Lynne, PA 19022 Fax - 610/546-4602 Tracy DeMarco Phone 610/546-4753 Email - Melissa Whayland Phone 610/546-4752 Email -

Innovis Data Solutions 950 Threadneedle, Suite 200 Houston, TX 77079-2900 Jose M Cruz Phone 281/504-2629 Email:

E-OSCAR Help Desk Phone 1-866-696-7227 (MY-OSCAR)

So the CRAs ARE E-Oscar. Interestingly, the Experian attorney Marc Carlson told me last week that I need to get info about reporting from E-Oscar. Nice try! I guess I’ll have to file another notice of deposition to get to an Experian person with a clue about E-Oscar. Experian has been extremely difficult and I need to file a motion to compel.

Experian ensures that people with 5+ year old charge-offs OFTEN have a credit score as if they had just defaulted in recent months. Their profits increase as the credit scores are lowered by their incorrect reporting. is where creditors log in. Submitting FACTUAL disputes sure doesn’t do the trick, so maybe that’s an alternative.

The PRIVATE domain registration:

Court Says Furnishers Face Reinvestigation Liability

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that consumers may sue those who furnish data to credit reporting agencies for failure to carry out their reinvestigation responsibilities under Section 623 of the FCRA. (Dornhecker v. Ameritech Corp., N.D. Ill., No. 00 C 26, 6/7/00). The judge ruled that while the FCRA does not specifically create such a liability, one could be implied from the way the law is written. The case involved telephone accounts that were fraudulently opened in some consumers names. When the subsequent debts were not paid, the phone company retained a collection firm to pursue the bad debts. The collector reported the adverse information to the credit reporting agencies and when the consumers found out about it they asked the credit reporting agencies for reinvestigation of the data as well as reported the fraud to the phone companies.

Two of the consumers sued the phone company, alleging it violated Section 623(b)(1) of the FCRA by failing to properly reinvestigate the disputed data. The phone company said it was only obligated to pursue a reinvestigation when contacted by the credit reporting agency. The consumers argued that furnishers duties under Section 623(b)(1) are indeed owed to consumers. They pointed out that Congress' exemption of furnishers from liability under subsection (a) implicitly made them liable under subsection (b). If Congress had meant to exempt furnishers from liability under subsection (b), it would have stated that fact as it did in subsection (a).

The court said it ruled as it did because it's apparent consumers are members of a class that the FCRA sought to protect and that legislative history shows an affirmative attempt by Congress to hold furnishers of information accountable if they continue to supply inaccurate data after they have been notified. It also backed its decision based on two cases that had been previously adjudicated.

The first involved a similar suit by a consumer over reinvestigation responsibilities under Section 623(b)(1). The court held that "there is no authority supporting the proposition that the FCRA does not create a private right of action". The court recognized that furnishers were exempt from civil liability from subsection (a), the FCRA did give consumers a cause of action against "persons" who are willful or negligent in complying with the Act.

The second citation concerned a case that set forth factors for determining if a private cause of action is implicit in a statute. Saying this case met all four factors, the court concluded that the consumers could file suit against furnishers of data for failing to comply with Section 623 (b)(1).

What is e-Oscar?

e-OSCAR is a web-based, Metro 2 compliant, automated system that enables Data Furnishers (DFs), and Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to create and respond to consumer credit history disputes. CRAs include Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion, their affiliates or Independent Credit Bureaus and Mortgage Reporting Companies. e-OSCAR also provides for DFs to send "out-of-cycle" credit history updates to CRAs.

The system primarily supports Automated Credit Dispute Verification (ACDV) and Automated Universal Dataform (AUD) processing as well as a number of related processes that handle registration, subscriber code management and reporting.

ACDVs initiated by a CRA on behalf of a consumer are routed to the appropriate Data Furnisher based on the CRA and subscriber code affiliations indicated by the DF. The ACDV is returned to the initiating CRA with updated information (if any) relating to the consumer's credit history. If an account is modified or deleted, carbon copies are sent to each CRA with whom the DF has a reporting relationship.

AUDs are initiated by the DF to process out-of-cycle credit history updates. The system is used to create the AUD and route it to the appropriate CRA(s) based on subscriber codes specified by the DF in the AUD record. The e-OSCAR AUD process is intended to provide the CRA with a correction to a consumer's file that must be handled outside of the regular activity reporting cycle process. e-OSCAR may not be used to add or create a record on a consumer's file or as substitute for "in-cycle" reporting to the CRAs.

To see a demo of e-OSCAR-web, contact the Help Desk at 866-MY-OSCAR (866-696-7227) to obtain a temporary user id and password, then log into Call the e-OSCAR help desk at (866) MY OSCAR or (866) 696-7227.

Equifax Credit Information ServicesRichard Stinnett1550 Peachtree St.Mail Drop 66NAtlanta, GA 30339E-mail: Equifax.EOSCAR@equifax.comPhone: 678-795-7921 Effective Nov 15, 2005

Experiane-OSCAR Customer Support 701 Experian ParkwayAllen, TX 75013.E-mail: experian.e-oscar@experian.comPhone: 972-390-3610

TransUnionTransUnion e-OSCAR Customer Support LinePhone: 610-546-4762

Innovis Data SolutionsMichelle Junk1651 NW Professional PlazaColumbus, OH 43220Phone: 614-442-3710E-mail:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The New Way Lenders Will Size You Up

Just when you finally had FICO figured out, you're getting a brand new score

By Amanda Gengler

April 18, 2006 11:03 PM EDT

(MONEY Magazine) – So the Fed raised rates another quarter point in March. Ho hum. The far bigger news that may affect your future borrowing rates: the unveiling of a new rating system that will compete with the widely used FICO credit score. Developed jointly by the three major credit bureaus, VantageScore should reduce discrepancies between your scores at the agencies, they contend. But it's also likely to lead to confusion, since VantageScore ratings will range from 501 to 990 (a 901-plus score is an A; 801 to 900, a B; down to 501 to 600, an F) vs. 300 to 850 for the FICO scale. For example, a 720 FICO score could land you a 9% rate on a credit card; with VantageScore, 720 might give you a 20% rate, says Curtis Arnold of For more info on the new system, go to

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fair Isaac Spotlights Latest Strategies and Innovations for Smarter Decisions at InterACT 06

CEO Grudnowski Delivers Insight into the Growing Impact and Applications of Enterprise Decision Management to Customers from 33 Countries

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 1, 2006--Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FIC - News), the leading provider of solutions and technologies for Enterprise Decision Management (EDM), kicked off its 2006 North American InterACT customer conference today in San Francisco. In his opening address, CEO Tom Grudnowski discussed how Fair Isaac's ongoing pursuit of innovation is breaking new ground to help organizations transform and improve the way they make their most critical decisions.

InterACT, the world's leading business forum on business analytics, emerging decision management technologies and their applications, is being held this week in San Francisco, where Bill Fair and Earl Isaac started the company in 1956. Registered attendance of nearly 700 for the company's 50th anniversary conference is the highest in several years, demonstrating the growth in demand for EDM strategies and solutions.

Grudnowski told InterACT delegates that they are among the leading practitioners of EDM, which combines the analytic solutions and decision automation software organizations need to make their decisions more precise, more consistent and more agile, at every customer interaction or decision point. He also recognized clients' central role over the past 50 years in turning the company's solutions for risk management, fraud control, account management, business rules management and more into industry standards.

"We are very fortunate to have clients who understand and value what this company was born to do -- help organizations solve their most complex business problems by consistently making the right decisions at the right time," said Grudnowski. "We've been perfecting the science of EDM in our R&D labs, and working with you to perfect it in the form of thousands of successful deployments around the world. Bill Fair once said, 'We sell a radically different way of making decisions that flies in the face of tradition.' That was true in 1956, and it's still true today."
EDM Innovations in InterACT Spotlight

Key decision management innovations being showcased at InterACT 06 include:
Advances in the battle against fraud, including Fair Isaac's architecture for Enterprise Fraud Management, its vision of a fraud clearinghouse and its research into click fraud.
Fair Isaac's development of its ScoreNet® network, the first "Decision Services Provider" network. This growing network gives businesses access to hosted versions of Fair Isaac solutions, as well as more than 2,000 service providers and 70 third-party databases.
The latest release of Blaze Advisor(TM) business rules management system, the only such system powered by the Rete III algorithm. With Rete III, Blaze Advisor can run complex business rulesets up to 100 times faster than other rules engines.

The next phase in the company's EDM architecture for financial services, which will give banks a common platform for their decision management across the customer lifecycle, and connectivity between point solutions for different decision areas.

A new approach to customer-centricity called "CustomerHD," which uses leading-edge analytics to give marketers a high-definition view of customers and potential customers.
New insights into customer credit issues, including consumer sensitivity to debt load, U.S. and global regulatory issues in financial services, and the implications of HELOCs and debt consolidation for card issuers.

Today's general session also featured a keynote presentation by Jeffrey Sampler, a Fellow of Strategy and Technology at Oxford University and leading authority on how to manage information as a strategic resource for growth and innovation. Sampler provided perspectives on how to lead creatively, how to create business assets where none exist, and the power of the strategic vortex model -- building strategies one on top of the other.

About InterACT
InterACT brings together senior executives, business managers and analysts from the world's leading companies in financial services, insurance, retail, telecommunications, healthcare and the public sector. Fair Isaac began staging customer conferences in 1976 to provide the most-up-to-date insight and information on analyzing data for business decisions.
Over the next three days, InterACT participants can choose from more than 70 sessions, including case studies, research results, industry panels and strategy discussions on new EDM technologies and applications. Discussion groups and other conference events provide attendees with opportunities to connect with industry peers and Fair Isaac experts, and the InterACT Product Expo reveals Fair Isaac's latest analytic and decision management innovations.

About Fair Isaac

Fair Isaac (NYSE:FIC - News) makes decisions smarter. The company's solutions and technologies for Enterprise Decision Management give businesses the power to automate more processes, and apply more intelligence to every customer interaction. Through increasing the precision, consistency and agility of their decisions, Fair Isaac clients worldwide increase sales, build customer value, cut fraud losses, manage credit risk, reduce operational costs, meet changing compliance demands and enter new markets more profitably. Founded in 1956, Fair Isaac powers hundreds of billions of decisions per year in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail, consumer branded goods, healthcare and the public sector. Fair Isaac also helps millions of individuals manage their credit health through the website. Visit Fair Isaac online at

Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information

Except for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this press release that relate to Fair Isaac are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including risks described from time to time in Fair Isaac's SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2005, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2005. Forward-looking statements should be considered with caution. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or any of these assumptions proves incorrect, Fair Isaac's results could differ materially from Fair Isaac's expectations in these statements. Fair Isaac disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Fair Isaac, ScoreNet and Blaze Advisor are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation, in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Contact:Fair Isaac Corporation
Brian Kane, 612-758-5232
Source: Fair Isaac Corporation

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Fair Isaac's reaction to Vantage Score System

Fair Isaac's reaction to Vantage Score System

Heard about the new Vantage Scoring System? It's scheduled to be rolled out by the credit bureaus later on this year. This was posted on our discussion boards by a Fair Isaac employee (Fair Isaac created the existing model the credit bureaus use). The post can be found here. Yes, I believe the poster is an actual employee.

Before I share this info... Yes I am a Fair Isaac employee. And yes I obtained prior approval from our PR dept before posting this. This document was posted on our Intranet site last week.

March 23, 2006

On March 14, 2006, the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, jointly announced the creation and availability of VantageScore, a new credit risk score. According to their announcement, the new score was developed through a collaborative effort by all three credit reporting agencies. The score is being independently marketed and sold through each of the three credit reporting agencies via licensing agreements with VantageScore Solutions, LLC, a company that the agencies have established. The following FAQ provides answers for use by Fair Isaac employees to the most common questions directed to Fair Isaac in the days immediately following their announcement.

Q: Did Fair Isaac help develop the new score?No. Fair Isaac was not involved in the development of the new score, and any questions regarding VantageScore from sources outside of Fair Isaac should be directed to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Q: Who has more experience in credit bureau-based risk scoring, Fair Isaac or the credit reporting agencies?Fair Isaac has the most experience. Behind our FICO® scores’ unsurpassed performance is 50 years of analytic expertise and 25 years of analyzing credit reporting agency data. We developed the first credit risk score in 1958, the first credit reporting agency score models in 1981, and launched the first general-purpose FICO score in 1989. Our analytic scientists have the most experience studying the nuances of data, allowing us to make the scores more powerful with each redevelopment.

Q: Is there a market for the new score? At this point, we don’t know enough about the underlying science of the new score to comment in detail.However, the ongoing – and growing – success of the FICO score demonstrates that Fair Isaac is already meeting the market’s demand for a consistent measure of credit risk across the three credit reporting agencies. FICO scores have been available since 1989 and are used by most lenders when making billions of credit decisions annually. FICO scores are routinely tested and have become relied upon by lenders, rating agencies, the Wall Street community and a growing base of consumer advocates and personal finance experts. Fair Isaac credit bureau risk scores provide a common language for risk in many industries, including consumer credit, commercial credit, mortgage and telecommunications. They are endorsed or used by such industry-leading organizations as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for secondary mortgage lending, and Standard & Poor’s and Fitch IBCA in the rating environment.

Q: Will the introduction of the new score hurt Fair Isaac?We are confident that, provided a choice, lenders will continue to rely upon FICO scores to make the most objective, fair and profitable risk management decisions. Competition has been a fact of life in our industry, and the individual credit reporting agencies have attempted in the past to compete with Fair Isaac by offering scoring alternatives. Yet, FICO scores have continued to be used by the vast majority of banks and lenders in the United States to make the smartest possible lending decisions and grow more profitable. This is the first time that the credit reporting agencies have coordinated their efforts to develop a new risk score and we will monitor lender reactions and take all steps necessary to ensure Fair Isaac remains lenders’ scoring system of choice.

Q: Will the new score replace FICO scores in lenders’ risk evaluation process?Based on what we know now, as long as the market is free from competitive restraint, competition from FICO scores (both Classic and NextGen) will be significant because FICO scores have widespread acceptance by consumer lending and securitization users, as well as acceptance by key regulatory bodies as reliable. Their confidence in FICO scores is the result of the FICO score’s proven predictability and Fair Isaac’s continuous work to update and fine-tune our scoring models to ensure the most precise risk predictions and score explanations possible. Lenders and regulators also value our neutrality in the credit data industry and our ability to objectively analyze and utilize credit bureau data – which differs from bureau to bureau – to generate highly predictive, reliable risk scores.

Q: Does the introduction of VantageScore signal a breakdown in Fair Isaac’s relationship with its credit reporting agency partners?No. Even as our partners introduce VantageScore, Fair Isaac is working with each of the three credit reporting agencies to continue delivery of billions of FICO® scores annually to lenders and other businesses. And we are planning to introduce additional products that Fair Isaac is developing in collaboration with the credit reporting agencies. Of course, we cannot speak to the intentions of the credit bureaus.

Q: How does the new score’s scale differ from the FICO scoring scale?According to the credit reporting agencies, their VantageScore uses a numeric scale of 501-990, and also a parallel alphabetic scale that classifies consumers into fixed A, B, C, D, F scoring 2 grades. These alpha grades strongly suggest that all lenders agree on levels of risk in neat, permanent scoring bands, which is contrary to Fair Isaac’s long experience with lenders. Again, we cannot comment on a system we have not yet seen. However, Fair Isaac can say that the FICO scale has served lenders and consumers well for decades, and is increasingly being understood and accepted by consumers as the standard score range. The classic FICO score uses a numeric scale of 300-850 that is well understood and accepted within the financial services industry and regulators. Most lenders’ strategies and securitization decisions within this industry are geared toward the use of the FICO score ranges and consumers. A new, different score range could create confusion for consumers and lenders alike.

Q: What does this different approach mean for consumers?At this stage, we don’t know enough about the new scoring system to comment in detail. However, a number of consumer groups, including Consumer Federation of America, have expressed the concern that the introduction of VantageScore adds confusion to a marketplace already filled with consumer misperceptions about credit scoring. Today, consumers can view their FICO credit scores and be confident that the scores are an indication of how most lenders view their credit risk. We will continue our efforts to help consumers understand that FICO scores are the same scores most lenders use now – and will continue to use – to make their lending decisions. is the one place where consumers can access their FICO scores across multiple credit reporting agencies and receive education from Fair Isaac on managing their credit scores.

Q: The three companies say this new score was developed in response to client demand. Have lenders been asking for a new scoring system?No. Fair Isaac stays in close contact with all the major U.S. lenders, and none of them have reported to us a desire for a new scoring system. Originally introduced in 1989 and available from all three credit reporting agencies since 1991, our FICO® scores have provided the same consistent and highly effective predictive power regardless of the credit reporting agency providing the data. We have regularly updated and improved our FICO scoring models in response to open feedback from major lenders.

Q: The bureaus claim that the new score uses the same scoring model across all three credit reporting agencies. How is the FICO score approach different?Each of the credit reporting agencies deploys the Fair Isaac scoring model design for Classic FICO scores and NextGen FICO scores. We believe our design utilizes the most predictive elements at each of the agencies to ensure highly predictive performance at each of the agencies – and to ensure that lenders can trust that a 680 FICO score generated on one bureau’s data 3 indicates the same relative level of risk as a 680 FICO score on another bureau’s data. Fair Isaac believes that every FICO score should be as predictive as possible based on the available data.

Q: How will the introduction of the new score impact have confidence that will continue its impressive growth as consumers understand that FICO scores continue to be the scores that most lenders use to make credit decisions. In fact, in the days after the bureaus introduced their new score, marked its top two revenue days in the history of the service.

Fair Isaac Statement Concerning Forward-Looking InformationExcept for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this document that relate to Fair Isaac, including statements regarding its FICO score offering and the benefits to be derived from the offering, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including issues involving the marketing and distribution arrangements for Fair Isaac’s products, any unforeseen technical difficulties related to the implementation, use and functionality of Fair Isaac’s product offerings, the risks that customers will not perceive material benefits from the offerings, failure of the products to deliver the expected results, the possibility of errors or defects in the offerings, regulatory changes applicable to the use of consumer credit and other data, and other risks described from time to time in Fair Isaac’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2005, and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended December 31, 2005. Forward-looking statements should be considered with caution. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or any of these assumptions proves incorrect, Fair Isaac’s results could differ materially from Fair Isaac’s expectations in these statements. Fair Isaac disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Fair Isaac and FICO are registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation, in the United States and/or in other countries. Other product and company names herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Editor's take on this: Fair Isaac is very worried about this. And further more, I'd say that the Vantage system is an attempt of the Big 3 to break free of the Fair Isaac stranglehold on the credit scoring system. I'm sure the licensing of the credit scoring model developed from Fair Isaac is VERY expensive. I'd say a little competition is a good thing, but who knows how accurate the Vantage scoring system is. What kind of data do the credit reporting agencies have to back up the validity of their models?

Will consumers by hurt by it? Who will use it? Is it an attempt by the big 3 to stop lawsuits from those unfairly damaged by the system currently used by Fair Isaac, over which they have no control? I'd say there are more questions than answers at this point.

ABOUT THE POSTER: Robert Paisola is an international motivational speaker, trainer and author. He is an expert in the field of Personal Real Estate Investor Training. He is a professional speaker who has been featured on CNN, CNNFN, and the Wall Street Journal. He can answer your questions on the "Basics of the Real Estate Investing Business" to detailed issues regarding your specific transactions. Life Experience Robert Paisola is a Professional International Seminar Speaker in the Areas of Real Estate Investing, Tax Lien Investing, Rental Property Management, Real Estate Coach and Mentor Training and Business Management. He has served companies throughout the world. If you are interested in learning the business from someone like Rob email his office at or call our offices Nationwide toll Free at 1-877-517-9555 or visit or visit

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The History of the FICO Score, by Robert Paisola

The History of the FICO Score, by Robert Paisola

In 1956, math whizzes Bill Fair and Earl Isaac left the Stanford Institute to consult with the computer services industry. After creating a billing system for Hilton Hotels, Fair Isaac and Company created a credit evaluation method for a southern lender accused of racial bias. As credit cards emerged, Fair Isaac created a way for card issuers to quickly screen masses of candidates. Banks started using the company's scores, referred as FICO scored, to evaluate their own loans.

In 1995 the nations two biggest purchasers of home mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that they wanted their loans to include a credit score. Fair Isaac designed a credit scoring system for all three bureaus to use and soon after, all loan processing agencies joined in and hence, the FICO score. FICO scores are what the majority of mortgage lenders use to evaluate applicants creditworthiness. The scores are based on complex statistical methods that analyze credit information on nearly every adult in the United States.

In barely 3 years, credit scoring has swept the loan business. Credit scores have existed for 40 years, but were applied to home loans only recently. If you've received a pre-approved credit card application in the mail, it was based on your credit score. High score, high credit line and low rate. Likewise, if a car finance dealership says that would be happy to process a loan on a car, but.... That is credit scoring at work again, except they will need a higher down payment or you need to pay a higher rate. Low credit score, higher down payment, higher rate.

Your ability to get a loan depends on your score. The people affected most are lower income borrowers. Most lenders get reports and scores from the 3 credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. That is because the credit bureaus rely on creditors to report borrowers' histories, and creditors don't always report to all three bureaus. Hence, the scores can differ. Most lenders will access all three scores and then average them. These numbers, based on past behavior, really predict a persons future likelihood to repay a loan. Studies have shown that regardless of race or income, borrowers with low scores defaulted much more often than people with higher scores.

Your credit report is a list of accounts that banks, merchants, government agencies and courts report that you are responsible for either solely or jointly. Each will show the accounts age, credit limit, current balance, high balance and payment history. All of this information is used in the credit scoring calculation. A credit score, based on the report information, is likened to a camera snapshot that captures your creditworthiness at the moment the score is calculated, so you can see how important it is to make sure that the information is correct and up-to date.

We all have a credit report and whether it is good or bad is something that you need to start thinking about. If you have ever financed a car, or had a loan of any sort, even a credit card you have a credit report. And if you have ever paid bills for anything like a cell phone or for electricity then you have a credit report. It is important that you have a good credit report for several different reasons. First of all if you have plans to buy a house someday or a new car then you are going to need good credit to be approved for financing. Most people do plan to purchase a home someday and you cannot do that unless you have good credit. Your credit rating will even affect the interest rates that you will be able to get your loans at. The lower your interest rate the more money that you will save.

I am sure that you have heard or read the offers that promise you that they will erase all of your bad credit history quickly and efficiently but these promises are false. No one can get rid of your bad credit history but you. Time is the only thing that will heal these types of wounds and anyone that promises you otherwise is lying to you.

A good tool for you to refer to when you are trying to rebuild your credit is the book written by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This book will teach you the following: your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and your rights under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. It will also teach you how to legally improve your credit, knowing how to do this the right way is important, this book will also teach you about identity theft and how it can affect your life and most importantly it will teach you how to deal with your debt once and for all.

The Fair Credit and Reporting Act is dedicated to making sure that your records are keep accurate, private and safe. It is the FTC that enforces the rules and laws as they pertain to the credit reporting companies. You have many rights that you probably do not have any idea what these rights are. One of your most important rights is the right to see your credit report. You have the right to a free copy once a year but you will have to request it, it will not be automatically sent to you. When you get your report you will also get a list of the companies and people who have also requested a copy of the report.

Most people wonder what exactly is on their credit report. Your credit report contains your name and address, birth date and Social Security Number as well as your employment history and your spouse's name. You will also find your home ownership, income, and previous address information. Some of these things may only be given to those who specifically ask for this information.

Your credit report will also have exact record of all your past history as far as the amount of credit that has been extended to you as well as how you dealt with this credit. If you have not paid your debts off according to schedule then this will be noted on the report. Every company, person or business that has ever requested a copy of your credit report over the last year, regardless of their purposes will be noted on your report as well. And if you have ever been the subject of a foreclosure or you have filed for bankruptcy or even if you have tax liens this information will be on this credit report.

You are permitted to receive one copy from each of the credit reporting agencies at no charge each and every year. It is a good idea to get your report from each company because they may have different information on them. All you have to do is ask for a copy and they will send it to you right away. In order to get your free credit report all you need to do is visit and there you will be directed to the different credit reporting companies. The information that you will want to have ready to provide is your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. Keep in mind that is the only place that is authorized online to provide you with your credit report. By getting your report from this site you know that you are not taking part in a scam that will end up costing you money in the long run. There is only one other time that you are eligible to receive a free credit report and that is when a company takes action against you. If some company denies you credit you have a right to see your credit report in order to figure out what the problem was and fix it.

Your credit report has a credit score on it and this score is what will determine whether or not you get approved for a loan or more credit. This score is also what will determine what your interest rate will be when and if you do get approved for any kind of credit.
It is the responsibility by law of the credit reporting agency to correct and false or inaccurate information on your credit report. If you ever see anything that you are unsure about on your report be sure to report it immediately. You should first give your credit card company a telephone call and then follow up with a letter explaining the problem. If you have any documentation pertaining to your claim be sire to attach copies to send along as well. Never send the originals, those you need to hold on to. Ask the company to correct these errors as soon as possible. When they respond to you be sure to file these responses away someplace where you will be bale to find them again with ease if you need to. They should respond to your claim within 30 days of the receipt of the letter that you sent so mark down this day.

Once the error has been corrected you have the right to ask that your corrected credit report be sent to all those who have requested it in the last 6 months.

If you credit report is in terrible condition not because of any errors on your report but because of your unreliability with credit then you need to take some steps to deal with your credit. One of the easiest ways that you can take control of your credit trouble is by budgeting. You can plan your budget any way that you want although it is a good idea to not make your budget too strict right off the bat. This could lead to you abandoning it altogether. A good way to plan your budget is to first keep track of all your expenditures. Write everything down and then at the end of the month take stock. This list will give you a good idea of where you can cut down and what you can cut out.

If your biggest problem is coming up with enough money to pay your credit card bills then you should consider giving your creditors a call. It is far better to let them know about the problem than it is to simply not pay them at all. They may be willing to work out a better payment schedule for you. This might even keep them from raising your interest rate.

If you are past the point where your creditors want to deal with you and you have already been passed off to debt collectors you need to know your rights. Legally debt collectors cannot call you before 8 am or after 9 pm, nor can they call you at work unless you have previously given them permission. And if you feel you are being harassed by debt collectors all you have to do is send them a written request to stop contacting you and they must honor this request.

One of the options that you have is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation is a good option for those who are looking for lower monthly payments. This not too bad of an idea because at least this way you will be able to make your payments without further damaging your credit. The one thing to keep in mind is that when you consolidate your debt it will be taking you longer to pay them off. The longer it takes you to pay off the loan the more you will end up paying in interest. You can use lines of credit to consolidate your loan but if you do this you will most likely be asked to put up your home as collateral. If you default on these payments then you will lose your house.

One of the most important things for you to learn is that you are in a prime position to be taken advantage of. Millions of people just like you get fleeced each year by falling for scams that promise to fix your bad credit or erase it entirely. None of these promises are worth as much as the paper they are printed on because there is nothing that can be done to simply erase bad credit. All you can do is work to improve your credit and depending on how bad your credit is this could take some time. Make sure that you look into any company that you are considering working with. A good place to find information is your local better business bureau.

Many of the credit scams that are out there can actually land you in hot water with the law. Some of these companies will charge you money up front and then they will proceed to teach you how to erase your debt history. In fact you are not erasing anything, only creating a new credit identity, which is illegal and punishable by jail time.

Your credit report can be damaged by others besides you and knowing this and how to prevent it is important to your financial welfare. Identity theft is getting to be more anymore prevalent all of the time. It does not take much for someone to be able to steal your entire identity. All they need to do is get a hold of some of your personal information. Some of the most common ways that others steal your identity are by stealing information about you that they come across on the job or by talking someone else on the job to give them your information. This can happen by them paying off an employee or perhaps they already have a previous relationship with an employee that they can use to get such personal information. Hacking into computer records in order to steal personal information is also very common. In this day of computers and technology anyone can learn how to hack into just about any company or network.

Going through others trash is another one of the more common techniques that identity thieves use to gain access to your personal information. We are always getting offers in the mail, many of them pre approved and all it takes is for someone to get a hold of one of these little pieces of paper and they can take over your life. They can then go on to destroy your credit rating and history. You should always shred any and all of these offers that you receive in the mail to avoid identity theft.

Another way to avoid identity theft is for you to keep your credit cards in a separate place from your wallet. This way if a thieve steals you wallet all they are getting is your cash. While it is never fun to have your cash stole at least this will not destroy your entire life. Losing your credit cards to an identity thief can destroy your life. Your credit report is accessed by employers and even landlords these days and if your credit report is in really bad shape you could find yourself without a place to work or a place to live. This is why you should never write down your credit card numbers or your bank account numbers where someone could find them and why you should get a copy of your credit report each year.

If you think that your identity may have been stolen there are some things that you can do. Putting a fraud alert on your credit cards is a good idea and it can save your credit rating. All you have to do is call the credit reporting companies and let them know that you would like to get a fraud alert on your credit report. Getting copies of your credit report from all of the major credit reporting companies will help you to see if there has been any fraudulent activity. The next step is for you to contact your local police station. Let them know what has happened to you including all detail about how it could have happened. You will then want to contact the FTC and fill tem in on what has happened to you as well.

About the Author:

Robert Paisola is an international motivational speaker, trainer and author. He is an expert in the field of Personal Real Estate Investor Training. He is a professional speaker who has been featured on CNN, CNNFN, and the Wall Street Journal.

He can answer your questions on the "Basics of the Real Estate Investing Business" to detailed issues regarding your specific transactions. Life Experience Robert Paisola is a Professional International Seminar Speaker in the Areas of Real Estate Investing, Tax Lien Investing, Rental Property Management, Real Estate Coach and Mentor Training and Business Management. He has served companies throughout the world.

If you are interested in learning the business from someone like Rob email his office at or call our offices Nationwide toll Free 1-877-517-9555 or visit Source:

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New credit scores supposed to help lenders facilitate loan pricing

Just when you thought that you were beyond the problem of needing to achieve higher letter grades for your “permanent” record, here they come again! Yes, now you will have the pleasure of being “letter graded” from cradle to grave.

A new credit scoring system is being introduced that reduces the previous FICO number to an alternative letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) — or VantageScore(SM). In a time when interest rates seem to have an upward trend, the higher our credit score (no matter which method is used), the more justification we have to argue for lower interest rates and higher loan amounts from lenders. This article discusses the new system and how it relates to the more-established FICO score.

The goal of all credit scores is actually to facilitate loan pricing and securitization for lenders that do not retain credit exposure on their loans. Defaults on loans create losses that are spread across all loans, so we all benefit from low default rates. Those with poor credit do not usually qualify for much credit and the interest rate they pay is usually higher than the rate paid by those with top credit ratings. Many studies exist showing a high degree of correlation between default rates and credit scores. This is not always true in individual cases because some borrowers are better at negotiating both loan amounts and interest rates with various lenders.
The three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) currently emphasize the Fair Isaac Corporations FICO score to establish our credit status. If you have used these agencies, you have probably noticed that they do not produce the same score/number.
The key FICO factors are: (1) Payment History — about 35 percent, (2) Amounts you owe — about 30 percent, (3) Time you have had an established credit history — about 15 percent, (4) Types of credit you have used — about 10 percent and (5) History of attempts to establish additional credit — about 10 percent.

Note that the score calculation only considers items on your credit report whereas lenders look at other factors such as employment history, level of income and type of credit you are seeking. Everyone should keep informed about their credit reports and seek to remove incorrect information as soon as possible. Improvements in FICO scores can be achieved over time by (1) avoiding late payments/collections activities, (2) reducing credit card balances (canceling them can have a negative impact), (3) avoiding too many applications for credit while maintaining sufficient credit for your needs.

FICO scores range between about 300 and 900. The median FICO score is around 720; scores above 725 are considered “good” while scores below 600 are considered “bad.” In theory, the higher the number, the greater the amount of credit you can obtain and the lower the interest rate. Report any credit report errors to all three credit agencies: U.S., Equifax (1-800-685-1111), Trans Union (1-800-916-8800) and Experian (1-888-397-3742). These agencies have procedures in place to help you maintain an accurate report.

Note that in the list of key factors, your credit history and the amount of time credit has been established play a significant part (approximately 50 percent) in the calculation of the FICO score and employment history is a part of the lender’s decision. What if you are essentially “new” to the work force and you have not established a credit/payment history? One criticism of the FICO score is that it does not provide for those that are beginning the long road of credit management. It is anticipated that the new VantageScore system will provide more support for those in this situation.

Introduced in March jointly by the top three credit rating agencies (patent pending), VantageScore(SM) is not expected to have an immediate impact on credit decisions. In time it will become the first rating system that applies consistent analysis across all three companies. This will reduce differences in ratings between agencies to differences in data files rather than model interpretations of data. Since it was developed using the credit histories of approximately 15 million consumers, it provides for those that are new to obtaining/managing debt, improving the chances of obtaining debt at lower costs. Letter grades for the VantageScore system are produced as follows: A901-900, B801-900, C701-800, D601-700 and F501-600.

As we manage the quantity and cost of debt over time, this new system will probably become another factor used by lenders.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Consumer Advocates Have Mixed Reaction to New Credit Scoring System

Consumer Advocates Have Mixed Reaction to New Credit Scoring System

By Lydia Verret, Reporter

VantageScore(sm), a new credit scoring system, was recently jointly introduced by the three leading consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. VantageScore is designed to simplify and improve the credit process for consumers and creditors with a more consistent and objective approach to credit scoring.

According to proponents, this new scoring model is supposed to utilize patent-pending analytic techniques to compare the differences in the three credit files (from the three major credit reporting companies) to provide consumers and businesses with a highly predictive and consistent score, which will be easy to understand and apply.

Consumers and creditors will recognize the following score groupings in VantageScore’s new credit scoring scale:• 901-990 A• 801-900 B• 701-800 C• 601-700 D• 501-600 FReaction from many consumer advocates has been mixed. Scott Bilker, author of Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt! notes:

“Clearly, this is a new way for the credit bureaus to make more money selling information about us. Selling it to lenders, insurance companies, and to consumers. Of course, that information could help us, or hurt us, depending on how and why it's used. The good news for creditors is that it easier to have a single score instead of analyzing different scores.”

Time will tell if the new VantageScore system will replace the popular FICO credit scoring model that has been around for many years. According to Gerri Detweiler, a noted consumer educator and author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook:

“VantageScore(sm) is competition to FICO scores, but lenders tend to be somewhat slow to adopt new scores. In addition, I don’t expect the mortgage industry to quickly replace FICO scores with VantageScores. Competition, in an of itself, may not be a bad thing here."

VantageScore is now commercially available. It is being marketed separately by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion through licensing agreements. We welcome your comments about credit card and money issues in our popular credit forum!

Lydia Verret has been a reporter for for approximately a year, but has had a passion for writing for many years. Her writing career begin in high school as roving reporter for her school newspaper and yearbook. She is a proud mother of two daughters, one of which currently writes for her school paper, and resides in Memphis, TN. She also is proud to married to a firefighter who is quite the handyman. is the most comprehensive source for comparing credit card offers. is pleased to offer consumers free credit card ratings.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Credit scores: Where confusion abounds

Just when we get used to the idea of credit scores and each credit bureau having its own version, here comes yet another version. But first, let's review:

In the beginning, there was Fair Isaac, the firm that invented a mathematical formula that creates an individual's three-digit FICO score, which supposedly measures how much debt a consumer is carrying and how well the consumer keeps up with bills. The higher the score, the better risk that person represents.

Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are private companies that track individuals' credit accounts and payment habits. Not wanting to be left out of the lucrative credit-scoring business, each created its own brand of credit score, licensed the FICO scoring model to create its individual "brand" and made the scores just different enough to become very confusing. One bureau's scores can go as high as 900, while another tops out at 820. That means a score of 780 could be marvelous with one agency but rather average with another.

Several weeks ago, the credit bureaus announced they are banding together to come up with an all-new, uniform credit score called VantageScore. The reasoning is, this new VantageScore will be easier for consumers to understand and will make things more consistent for lenders. Of course, they refer to the "confusion that abounds" in credit scoring as their motive. I don't buy it for a moment. I see the bureaus creating a new income stream because, without a doubt, this is a new product for which they will charge dearly.

In its announcement, Experian said the new VantageScores will be grouped on "the familiar academic scale."

A - 901-990
B - 801-900
C - 701-800
D - 601-700
F - 501-600

Of course, there will be a hefty charge to get one's VantageScore, and I'll wager it will be more than a onetime event. They will want to sign us up for monthly credit-score monitoring or some such thing.

While I cannot comment further on the VantageScore until I see it, I can advise that unless you are planning to apply for a mortgage or other secured financing within the next couple of months, don't worry about your credit score. You don't need to know what it is. Instead, keep your eye on your credit report - free once a year from each of the big-three credit bureaus. Go to to get your free reports, and make sure only correct information is reflected in them. Then pay your bills on time. All of your bills, all of the time.
On the rare occasion you need to check your credit score (in anticipation of applying for a mortgage would be a good reason to check it), go to This is the score that most lenders look to and the one most widely respected.

Take care of your financial affairs in a responsible manner, and your credit score will take care of itself.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Change adds to credit score confusion


One thing that definitely befuddles many consumers is the credit-scoring system.

And things got a little more confusing when the three major credit bureaus -- Equifax, TransUnion and Experian -- recently announced they had joined together and created their own branded creditscoring model, which they hope will replace FICO, the one now widely used by lenders.

Right after the announcement, my e-mail in box began filling up with questions from readers about credit scoring.

The FICO credit-scoring system, developed by Fair Isaac Corp., rates consumers on a scale of 300 to 850. The VantageScore system created by the credit bureaus uses a scale that ranges from 501 to 990. The bureaus' version is supposed to approximate a letter-grade system. Scores of 901 to 990 would be the equivalent of an A; 801 to 900 a B; 701 to 800 a C; 601 to 700 a D; and 501 to 600 an F.

"It appears now that someone with a credit score of, say, 800 under the current system, certainly top of the line, since 850 is the current ceiling, would move from a top rating to average under the new system," one reader wrote.

That's an incorrect conclusion. The two systems are not being merged. High scores under the FICO model remain high. It is more likely that if you have credit scores in the 800s under FICO, you'll score in the 900s in the VantageScore system, assuming the bureaus use the same or similar factors to determine people's credit worthiness.

The announcement about VantageScore also gave folks a chance to vent about errors in their credit files.

"Suppose a credit bureau reports information that is incorrect. Why wouldn't this be legally actionable? Why can't I sue?"

Actually you can. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the credit bureaus and businesses that supply them with data are obligated to correct inaccurate information. The act is supposed to ensure the accuracy of information contained in your credit files maintained by the credit bureaus.Correcting errors on your credit report can be maddening.

The problem is that in trying to verify information, the bureaus simply go back to the source. And guess what the creditors often do? They simply confirm the incorrect information in their databases.

If you find an error in any of your credit reports, the Federal Trade Commission says you should write to each agency requesting a deletion or correction. Your letter should clearly identify each item in your report that you dispute. You should also enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Include copies (not originals) of documents that support your position. And finally, send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can prove that the credit bureau received the information. Also, keep records of everything and everyone with whom you talk.

But before you do all that, contact the creditor that supplied the incorrect data. You have to attack the erroneous information at the source. If you can clear it up with your creditor first, you have a better chance that the error won't be transmitted again.

The law requires credit agencies to investigate disputed information and correct inaccuracies within 30 days of hearing from a consumer.

If you don't get satisfactory action from the credit bureau or creditor, you have at least two recourses. You can complain to the FTC. Unfortunately, the commission doesn't get involved in resolving individual consumer problems. However, your complaint might lead to some law enforcement action.

Your second option is to file a lawsuit. You can sue in state or federal court. In some cases, you may have more rights under state law. For more information, contact your state or local consumer protection agency or your state attorney general's office.

These types of cases are not easy to win but if you have a particularly egregious situation, go for it. To find a lawyer, try the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Their Web site,, lists consumer lawyers by state.

Finally, those of you with great credit scores -- 720 or higher -- stop obsessing. You don't need a perfect score to get the best credit offers.

Whatever credit-scoring systems lenders use, continue to question what you don't understand. After all, your scores directly translate into real dollars.


Robert Paisola is driven by a passion for people motivating them to reach their top potential and has been the director of Many International Corporations, Robert trains sales and marketing professionals who want to strive to get to the top...and stay there.

His innovative, no-nonsense approach is based on applying what he has observedin his fifteen-plus years in sales, motivational speaking andtraining,thus revealing the common business habits of the top 20% of salesperformers in all organizations.Robert's approach works...that's why New York-based Success Magazine has rated Robert Paisola as one of the top-five most effective sales-training professional in the market today. Routinely Distinguished by The NationalSpeakers Forum, Robert is also a regular contributor to Business Week Magazine, CNN, CNNFN, XM Satellite Radio, The Wall Street Journal,Telemundo International, National Public Radio and many other organizations. For more information on Robert Paisola’s unique training programs, contact Robert at Western Capital at or at 1-877-517-9555 or visit Robert's Media Access site located at:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Robert Paisola, owner of issues Release

We Can Guarantee that you have NEVER Experienced this type of Program in your life! On-Site Crisis Management Like You Have Never Seen Before! LISTEN TO THE LIVE CALLS AT THE END OF THE PAGE!

You will need to visit to see the site and listen to the calls.!

Updated 4-10-2006

Western Capital has pioneered methods that enable debtors to satisfy creditors while retaining the cash flow necessary to stay in business and recover.Western Capital and it's CEO, Robert Paisola hahave helped thousands of businesses get out of debt and sends millions of dollars to creditors annually. Western Capital bridges the financial gap between struggling businesses and their creditors.By developing affordable payment plans and negotiating acceptable terms with creditors, Western Capital provides its clients with the best chance of survival. This also gives creditors the best chance of being paid. Our program works because it is fair to all parties involved.Some highlights of our company are as follows:

We have consistently provided creditors with the best attainable payment options given the debtor's ability to pay.

Our employees are all veterans of the debt collection and debt restructuring industries.
They have successfully settled over 10,000 debts on behalf of debtors and creditors alike.
Our CEO, Robert Paisola, is an Expert in the areas of Debt Collection and Business Credit Collections, So, who better than another collector to battle YOUR CREDITORS!
What We Do to create a Win-Win with your Creditors

With the help many experienced credit professionals, we have developed a unique and systematic method for satisfying creditors with affordable installments that you determine. Our On Site Program will deeply analyze each client's financial condition in order to structure the best available program that not only meets your needs, but also the needs of your creditors.Our strategies for securing assets (CALLED ASSET PROTECTION) will often deter creditors and their pit-bull attorneys from proceeding with additional collection activities and will increase the motivation to settle. No longer will aggressive creditors have the ability to exhaust a debtor's resources. And we will free up your staff's time of answering calls that are impairing your ability to make money.

The collection Calls go to us! Call 1-877-517-9555 and act like a pissed off collector, and see what happens! Yes, you too can have that service!Since this is a very unique service and getting out from under the mess that has been created over time, We highly recommend that Robert Paisola spend at least one week at your location. He will work with your people and review all of the facts and figures to come up with a "game plan". It will require the full attention of the CEO and the entire management team to make this happen, but one thing we can tell you is that we understand how is to be the day before payroll and be 30K short.

Many people believe that the methods that we use to protect you and your company are aggressive.... Well they are!

We are paid to PROTECT YOU and YOUR COMPANY! And believe us when we say that we have seen it all. The good news is that we rarely deal with your attorneys. They get paid to CHURN DOCUMENTS. We do not play the game that way. Call Robert and he will explain how it all works. The collectors who are after you and causing you to have sleepless nights will regret the day they met us.

Just think about this... Who else can possibly be better at dealing with creditors and collection attorneys and agencies, than another collector. That is where the game ends. That is where your stress ends.

We also understand the importance of keeping your important supply lines open with certain priority creditors. If a debtor includes creditors that are vital to the business, we will make every effort to ensure that an ongoing relationship is part of the settlement. Basically this is the "communication side" of the workout. That will be done at your offices most of the time.When we are finished working with you, You will have no question as to the amount of money Your Company needs weekly to stay afloat, because the monthly cash requirement is predetermined based on our analysis of your companies financial condition. By converting short-term debt into manageable long-term payouts, we can increase your immediate cash flow NOW!


Our goal at Western Capital is to develop a plan that you can afford and creditors will accept. The program works as follows:

Call us IMMEDIATELY and ask for Robert Paisola (especially if there are IRS GARNISHMENT ISSUES or LAWSUITS)

Fax us a list of your problem creditors to 408-889-2415, we will run a preliminary analysis on the problem.

We will then look at your cash flow and see if it financially makes sense to have Robert come to your business,

We agree on a fixed price for the onsite visit, The price varies based on where you are located. For instance if you are in Detroit, the price will be different than if you are in Miami or Dallas. Its all about the convenience and destination of where you are located.

You use your built up stash of miles to fly Rob to your location and set up the hotel and "activities"

The CEO and President or Owner will meet in the lounge at the hotel and have a brainstorming session and you will lay out the confidential facts of your issues. EVERYTHING is COMPLETELY CONFIDENTIAL!

Voila, the next day, Robert Paisola shows up at your office and all hell breaks loose! So if you have employees who are not used to an ADHD Type A Personality,,, You might want to prepare them.

We will review all of the files and invade the Accounts Payable Office. We will devour the box of unopened mail that is sitting in the corner because it is all bills and you did not want to have to deal with it.

Next, we will start calling the SECURED creditors who you are PERSONALLY LIABLE for payment on. We will make this the top priority (along with payroll)

We will all go to lunch daily and we will discuss the project with your team. Some people will be PISSED. Some will be AMAZED. So, be prepared!

Unsecured creditors are always the last priority and we straight out tell them that, You can not conceive the POWER that you have when we are at your location and your creditors are folding like ducks in the water.

Next comes the PLAN, that is where we will set you up with a cash allocation analysis. You will be required to create the BUY IN from your employees so that they can see that things are changing, Rob will give you direct feedback on who is the dead weight in the company. Lets hope it is not your wife, but he will tell it like it is!

By the time the 4 days are over, you will no longer require Valium or Lortab just to Function. You will have a plan of attack and you will have a number to give all the creditors. That is what we get paid to deal with. You simply say "I am so sorry Jennifer, I know we owe you 110,000 on that invoice, but all of our finances are being CONTROLLED by a company called Western Capital. Give them a call.... And have a nice day!

Once Robert arrives back in Salt Lake City, Utah his team will devour your data and you will have direct access to Rob at a reduced rate, unless you become a pain in the ass, and then the fee doubles.

Bottom Line... You have no choice. If you have read this far, You need our help and we GUARANTEE that NOBODY ELSE will play the game the way we do. That is why Robert Paisola is an international Expert in Credit and Collections, just look at and

So, just do what comes natural and call Rob Today at 1-877-517-9555 and if the staff plays games with you on getting through to him, tell them to patch you through because you are a CLASS 120 CASE


Now, Try and find someone who will do that!

(These are unedited calls, you may want to wait for the call to start or right click and save)

LISTEN TO CALL NUMBER ONE The Car Deal From Hell Part 1
LISTEN TO CALL NUMBER TWO The Car Deal From Hell Part 2


Now print this out and have your legal department read this! Just watch their Faces! Call Rob at 1-877-517-9555 NOW and also email with your information at