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        Credit Dusters has just launched our interactive television show. The network is called CDTV and it will start out with a daily show about all things credit. You can go there now…tv.creditdusters.com. Advertisements
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      It seems strange considering my profession.  I recently pulled a copy of my credit report through the credit watch service  I am a member of.  I needed to purchase a car so I wanted to see where my scores stood and shop for the best interest rate.  To my surprise I had purchased a brand new […]
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      This week we are discussing a painful, but important situation that a lot of American consumers are facing. It is so scary to think that you might lose your home, but we want you to know that there is hope. We want to be a resource to those folks because we have been there and […]
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      My family lives in a small, rural town in Southern Indiana. We are surrounded by a soy bean field with hundreds of sprawling acres across the street and a large lake that adjoins our property in the back. Sounds nice, right? Why am I so discontented?What is it that continues to drive me toward always […]
    • Beauty in Simplicity Chapter III – The Endless Road April 24, 2008
      I began writing about the subject as a result of my daughter and I going on a field trip to our county 4-H last week. All the modern day farmers talking about raising chickens, cows, rabbits, and living off the land made me yearn for a life like that. This is my journey…The truth is […]
    • Beauty in Simplicity Chapter II – What’s in the Box? April 23, 2008
      In his book, Halftime, author and successful businessman Bob Buford comments on the purpose of money in the following manner: Mike Kiami is a strategic planning consultant. He is brilliant. He is intuitive. He is demanding. He slices through all the pretense and posturing, and hones in on the core. He does not believe in […]
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      “Stop this train, I want to get off!” – Vanilla Ice Yesterday I touched on the fact that I am soul searching for the simple life. My wife and I used to think the Amish had the answer. I now know, as I mentioned, that I do not have to buy a farm and work […]
    • A Rabbit Meat Shortage, The American Consumer, and Something About The Simple Life April 21, 2008
      I went on a field trip with my 3rd grade daughter this past week to our county 4-H. I learned a lot about farm animals. It was quite amazing because I saw the farmer of today and even with all the modern technology, (like a $280K combine that has a stereo, GPS system, and two seats) it […]
    • How To Not Blow Your Tax Refund April 2, 2008
      In my previous post I wrote about the importance of filing even when you owe. Today I am going to give some helpful tips on preparing for your refund. Whether you are getting $500.00 or $5000.00 it is human nature to spend your money two or three times before it even hits the bank. I would encourage […]
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      Freecreditdusters.com has a great article on ID Theft – Check it out
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FCRA Series: Trans Union Vs. FTC

This is going to be a complicated post – I am finding out some shocking revelations about our friends in the credit industry. I am like a kid in the candy store. In any case, I wanted to kick off our fun with something that will give you a little flavor of what I am discovering. The credit industry just like any American business is about making money. The conumser however is the one that sometimes suffers. I speak with people everyday in my business that are having a hard time paying their mortgage/rent every month. So it is important to me that you understand why we are tackling this subject.

In 1992 the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) filed an administrative complaint alleging that Trans Union violated Sections 604 and 607(a) of the FCRA by “compil[ing], for sale to clients, lists of consumers, based in whole or in part on information contained in its consumer reporting database . . . . In English this means that the Federal Government felt that Trans Union was violating the law. The Government was not upset that Trans Union was selling our information to third parties (i.e. Credit Card companies). Typical buyers of this information are firms considering extending some kind of credit to the consumers about whom they inquire; they use Trans Union’s information to evaluate whether the consumers are good credit risks. This was all well within the law.

What the Government did see as a clear and alarming issue was the type of information that Trans Union was selling. 

In 1987 Trans Union diversified, launching a “target marketing” division. That division-first TransMark, now Trans Union Lists-uses data from Trans Union’s consumer reporting database, CRONUS, to create mailing lists. The lists are sold to companies wishing to send sweepstakes entries, catalogs, circulars, and other solicitations to classes of customers that they believe will be particularly responsive to their pitches.

So here was the crux of the problem. The “target marketing” gave the buyers of the list a decided advantage since they could specify what type of information they wanted. It was very powerful and profitable for the marketers and for Trans Union.

As part of its argument in the case, Trans Union contended that neither the FCRA nor the FTC Order demonstrated a substantial government interest in protecting consumers’ privacy and, therefore, violated Trans Union’s right to free speech under the First Amendment. “Contrary to the company’s assertions, we have no doubt that this interest – protecting the privacy of consumer credit information- is substantial,” the Court wrote.

Wow! Trans Union basically said that the Fair Credit Reporting Act did not, “demonstrated a substantial government interest in protecting consumers’ privacy”. What more do you say…there is so much more. See you tomorrow.

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Thanks Matt Sullivan, CEO of Credit Dusters.  “We are a valuable resource for credit education and financial education!”



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One Response

  1. Here’s another great resource on credit –

    Credit Myths

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