In the most recent version of the annual Top Ten Michigan Consumer Complaints list published annually by the Attorney General, credit and debt collection issues dominated once again. Still reeling from the Financial Crisis of 2008, many Michiganders are working to revive their credit scores. Consumers in the Mitten are also very concerned with credit reporting and debt collection practices. Fortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helped enormously with many of these issues. This agency has helped thousands of consumers, and is gaining momentum. However, the Trump administration could potentially bring these efforts to a grinding halt.
How the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Protects Michigan Consumers
One of the biggest accomplishments of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been the Dodd-Frank Act. This federal law allows the government to regulate the financial industry by enforcing transparency and demanding accountability.
Nearly 1 million consumer complaints have been handled and dealt with so far by this agency. Many of these complaints have involved giants in the credit and financial industries. For example, Wells Fargo Bank was fined $100 million for secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts in consumers’ names. Other institutions that have had large fines levied at them have been Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Equifax, TransUnion, and Moneytree.
These are highly visible companies that have a lot of reach. As a matter of fact, most Michigan consumers have probably had some kind of relationship with at least one of them. With this in mind, isn’t it good to know that a heavy-hitting consumer watchdog has been advocating for you on such a large scale? On the other hand, it’s more than a little frightening that this watchdog is in danger of being compromised.
How Michigan Residents Can Protect their Consumer Rights
Yes, it’s absolutely true that changes are coming. The Trump administration wants to reign in the CFPB by assuming control over the bureau’s actions or eliminating a large portion of its funding. They’re trying to fire Director Richard Cordray before his term is up and possibly abolish his office altogether. Ultimately, this administration wants to repeal or make serious changes to the Dodd-Frank Act. This means that lending won’t be as heavily regulated and banks will have more freedom to do as they please.
Unfortunately, some of these changes may make things easier on banks and debt collectors and harder on consumers. Because of this, it’s more important than ever for Michigan consumers to know their rights and how to protect them.
When it comes to credit reporting and debt collections, there are two very important things to remember. First, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles you to accurate credit reports that are free from errors. Second, if you’re being harassed by debt collectors, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have the right to make them stop.
Sadly, about 80 percent of consumer credit reports contain errors of some time. Many of these inaccuracies can bring down your credit score, and this is not only unfair, but unlawful. You can make sure that your credit score is as high as it should be by checking your credit reports regularly. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting bureaus every twelve months. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com to request credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This is a convenient and secure “one-stop-shop” website that is authorized by federal law.
With credit reporting and debt collection violations, the laws can seem confusing. It can also be intimidating to take on a credit bureau or a debt collection agency on your own. Luckily, in Michigan, you don’t have to tackle these issues by yourself. Instead, you can get an experienced credit repair lawyer for FREE.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let debt collections and errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (248) 353-2882 or contact us on our contact page.