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Credit Reporting Agency Equifax Integral To Banking Bill

by Countable | Updated on 3.14.18

What’s the story?

Remember Equifax, the credit reporting agency that was hacked in the summer of 2017 and exposed millions of Americans’ sensitive information to exploitation by hackers? Politico reports that the company is integral to the banking reform bill likely to get approved by Congress this week.

Following exposure of the data breach, and possible illegal trading by company executives, lawmakers shut down a contract between the company and the IRS. Still, due to the company’s role in various financial vehicles, including mortgages and other sorts of consumer lending, lawmakers included the company in the banking reform bill.

Here’s how Equifax would be required to help consumers if the banking reform bill passes:

  • Provide free credit freezes for consumers

  • Provide free credit monitoring for military personnel

Here’s how Equifax would benefit from the banking reform bill:

  • Consumers could not bring any lawsuits against the company based on their free credit reporting to military personnel. Only federal or state prosecutors could initiate legal action.

  • Federal housing lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would be required to consider VantageScore, a housing credit scoring vehicle owned by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, in addition to FICO scores, in backing mortgages.

VantageScore is not controlled in the same way FICO is by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and so is less conservative in their scoring. Advocates say opening the door to VantageScore could give millions of powers access to a mortgage. Critics argue it invites lending to subprime borrowers.

In the current economy consumers must have credit scores to engage in many kinds of activities, which Equifax benefits from. If lenders are then also purchasing housing credit scores from the company via VantageScore, the company vastly increases their market share, critics say.

What do you think?

Do provisions regarding Equifax affect your position on the banking reform bill, or not?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Got Credit via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(50)
  • Bridget
    03/16/2018
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    Please don't allow this travesty to occur. Equifax hasn't even been properly investigated and prosecuted for the huge data leaks. It is utterly absurd that our government would support and reward such an unscrupulous company.

    Like (42)
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  • Hillary
    03/15/2018
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    What is wrong with the US government that the very companies who are deliberately hurting American citizens are now going to be given a PRIZE- Equifax will not legally be allowed to be sued except by the SAME government that licked their boots this time. It’s not enough you just gave banks massive perks that hurt American citizens now you are caving in to Equifax? Have you corrupt politicians never read about the fall of the Roman Empire? The French Revolution?

    Like (25)
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  • Barbara
    03/15/2018
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    Equifax should be CLOSED for their breach of trust. Not expanded!

    Like (22)
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  • Pat
    03/16/2018
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    Why would you vote for any banking bill that favors Equifax? Why would you vote for sub mortgages? It appears that Consumer protection is a thing of the past! We don’t have a democracy any more. We are becoming a banana republic with an unstable ruler. We have a congress that refuses to govern. The Republicans are cashing in any way they can before elections. Why are they afraid of Trump? What are they hiding?

    Like (21)
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  • Johnelle
    03/16/2018
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    The corruption knows no bounds.

    Like (16)
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  • Tooluser1
    03/16/2018
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    This is crap! These bastards *profited* from their own carelessness! The credit industry is becoming increasingly predatory, they DON'T need protection from consumers, we need protection from THEM!

    Like (15)
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  • Amy
    03/16/2018
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    Equifax caused my family harm when it had its security breach. If it’s so important to the economy, then make it better by setting standards it must follow or be subject to temporary control or merged with one of the other two. Or let one of the other two take over when it fails. Don’t protect it in the banking reforms by throwing my family under the bus with no recourse for justice to make us whole. And don’t take our economy down the same road by opening up routes to heavy credit to subprimes. How many times do the middle class citizens have to be sacrificed to placate the heavier market involved special interests? Represent us all please and ask your counterparts to do the same.

    Like (15)
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  • Alexander
    03/16/2018
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    Why would you pass this incredibly irresponsible bill?

    Like (12)
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  • RickEberhardt
    03/16/2018
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    How can the Federal government take away our right to bring legal action? What’s wrong with this picture?

    Like (11)
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  • NotAmused
    03/15/2018
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    Equifax has developed a banking reform bill that benefits them. Don’t fall for this! Protect the 99% The 1% doesn’t need protection.

    Like (11)
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  • Marc
    03/16/2018
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    The collusion between credit rating agencies was integral to the credit default crisis that triggered the Great Recession

    Like (9)
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  • Countryfirst
    03/15/2018
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    Equifax needs to be ended and this government headed by dictator trump needs to be GONE!

    Like (8)
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  • Mary
    03/16/2018
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    Every company should be held accountable for its mistakes. Companies should Not be exempt from lawsuits, class actions or otherwise.

    Like (7)
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  • BoldlyGo
    03/15/2018
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    WTF! Equifax should be be "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act" along with the Republican leadership and tRump Administration NOW🚔⚖ This so called Bill is a Non-Starter☠

    Like (7)
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  • Nicole
    03/16/2018
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    Equifax should be severely penalized for its mismanagement of our data. If Congress approves this, the responsible members’ days in office are numbered.

    Like (6)
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  • J. scott
    03/20/2018
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    The CEO of Equifax needs to testify before Congress about their criminal lack of vigilance over this important information. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them selling data protection services. These folks should be highly regulated and sharply punish for their breaches of the public trust.

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  • Caren
    03/16/2018
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    Equifax has proven themselves untrustworthy in keeping the information of consumers confidential. It is not appropriate for Equifax to be a part of important banking decisions on any level. They have violated consumers. Please don’t let consumers be violated further.

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  • Gerald
    03/17/2018
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    First, Equifax fails to maintain enough security and millions of Americans financial data is stolen...credit cards, social security, etc. Then, Equifax does not release the hack to the public for months giving the criminals time to use the data. Then, the CEO sells millions of dollars of stock before the market learns of the hack and is under investigation for insider trading. Finally, now we are bombarded by Equifax commercials providing us with whether our information appears on the dark web if we subscribe to their identity theft protection plan. So, let our data get stolen, don’t tell us, make millions on selling the stock before it drops, then sell us a protection plan that’s necessary because you lost our information. Brilliant! Sign up for more business with these guys before they reveal they are run by Russians.

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  • Fred
    03/16/2018
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    Equifax does not need more monetary help from either the government or the public. However, perhaps the public is the only sector which needs to be mentioned as any help from the government ultimately comes from the public. Giving home loans to those who truly cannot afford the payments did not work before. Why should it work now,

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  • Dicr
    03/16/2018
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    What motivates Trump supporters to blindly follow him despite his lies, lawlessness, and immoral behavior? When will republicans in congress wake up and realize the threat this compromised man is to our country? Hopefully they’ll come to their senses before they all have to be voted out.

    Like (3)
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