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By Sadef Ali Kully

The nation’s major credit reporting agencies have agreed to reform their method of fixing erroneous credit reports and end the practice of putting disputed parking violations on consumer credit reports, the state attorney general announced.

In January, there were more than 11,000 moving and parking violations in Queens alone, according to the NYPD. The city raked in over $890 million from parking violations to minor offenses last year according to the city’s Independent Budget Office.

“Credit reports touch every part of our lives. They affect whether we can obtain a credit card, take out a college loan, rent an apartment, or buy a car – and sometimes even whether we can get jobs,” AG Eric Schneiderman said.

According to the agreement, credit reporting agencies will improve the dispute settlement process for consumers through specially trained employees and the dispute verification process. Disputed parking violations will not be appear on credit reports and medical debt from insurance coverage delays or disputes will be given a waiting period of 180 days before being noted on the credit report, the attorney general’s office said.

It has been widely reported over the last few years that there are gross inaccuracies that can be found on the average consumer’s credit report,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx). “Our system puts great faith in the credit reporting agencies to serve as the de facto watchdogs of the credit market in this country and in New York state. To put it simply, the current system was failing.”

Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, the leading credit reporting agencies, which keep over 200 million reports on individuals, agreed to improve credit report accuracy, increase the fairness and efficacy of the procedures for resolving consumer credit disputes and protect consumers from unfair harm to their credit histories due to medical debt, according to Schneiderman’s office.

The agreement will also launch a vast consumer education campaign in New York on television, radio, print media, and online over a three-year period.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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