Believe it or not, you are for sale! Yes that’s right, every aspect of your life is up for grabs and there are companies making a lot of money with your personal information. These companies are known generally as consumer reporting companies. They gather data about you such as your credit and payment histories, mortgage histories, rental histories, checking account histories, medical and pharmacy histories, and the list goes on!
Chapter 1. Sold To The Highest Bidder!
Once these companies gather your information, they put it up for sale for anyone who wants to purchase it. It’s a multi-billion dollar per year business! And in the information age we live in now, business is booming for them!
Chapter 2. Important Information Regarding The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted by Congress in 1970 to reign in the almost Mafioso tactics consumer reporting companies would use in collecting and distributing your information, which made getting loans a very intimidating process. The thing with the FCRA, is it not only applies to consumer credit reporting, which we are most familiar with, it also applies to ANYONE who gathers data on you for any reason. In short, you are allowed to obtain the reports these companies are compiling about you. It’s one of your rights per the FCRA.
Chapter 3. The following is a list of the most common credit reporting companies:
Section 1. Casinos:
(APG) The Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering www.apgml.org
Central Credit Services GCA (Used to stand for Global Cash Access, now branded just as GCA) Their business is for casino check verification and for gambling markers.
Section 2. Checking Accounts:
ChexSystems 1-800-428-9623 www.consumerdebit.com
International Check Services 1-800-526-5380
Section 3. Consumer:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
P.O. Box 9701
Allen, TX 75013
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, PA 19022
Section 4. Background Checks:
Section 5. Employment:
ChoiceTrust Employment Reports 1-866-312-8075
Section 6. Insurance:
CLUE Auto History: 1-866-312-8076
CLUE Homeowner’s History 1-866-312-8076
ISO’s A-Plus Auto and Property Databases 1-800-709-8842
Section 7. Medical Information:
Medical Information Bureau (MIB) 1-617-426-3660
Section 8. Rental Information:
American Tenant Screen 1-800-888-1287
ChoicePoint Tenant History Reports 1-877-448-5732
National Tenant Network 1-800-228-0989
Tenant Data Services 1-800-388-2335
UD Registry 1-818-785-3905
First Advantage SafeRent 1-800-811-3495 www.saferent.com
Section 9. Mortgage Financing:
Chapter 4. How Do I Get My Reports From These Companies?
You can obtain your own personal reports from these companies by either simply calling them and requesting it or submitting in writing your request per your Fair Credit Reporting Act rights. The companies will then send your report to you.
Many of my clients that I have worked with in the past feel almost violated that these companies exist and are farming their personal information. This is a very understandable feeling especially for people who are very weary of technology. My goal in this article is to make it less frightening by helping you understand some of your rights as it pertains to your personal information. You now have the basic information needed to see what THEY know about you. Good luck!