Credit Damage Discovery, The Value of Dodd-Frank to Credit Expert Witnesses

Posted by John Ulzheimer - September 28, 2011 - Credit - No Comments

Credit Damage Discovery, The Value of Dodd-Frank to Credit Expert Witnesses

How many of you credit expert witnesses have struggled with the exercise of trying to find suitable documentation memorializing your client’s (or the adverse party’s) FICO scores?  Unless you have reports from the myFICO website or tri-merge credit reports provided for a mortgage loan application, FICO scores are hard to find.  And, what makes matters worse is the slew of websites that sell or give away non-FICO scores as part of their product offerings.

And while each of the three credit reporting agencies can recreate historical credit reports (also called archive credit reports) none of them can recreate archive FICO scores.  That leaves most of you non-FICO veterans “up a creek” when it comes to talking about the impact to FICO scores of allegedly incorrect credit reporting.  Well, help is on the way…in fact it’s already here.

The new Wall Street reform law, commonly called Dodd-Frank, requires that lenders who decline or adversely approve a consumer based on their credit score must now disclose that credit score along with the adverse action or score disclosure communications.  And because adverse action letters are a common part of our discovery needs when we’re performing credit expert witness or credit damage assessments, this helps to fill the need, which before July of 2011 didn’t exist outside of the mortgage environment (mandatory credit score disclosure).

Let’s be clear.  This isn’t going to help credit expert witnesses in their credit damage reports and it’s certainly not going to make you a better expert witness credit damage professional.  But, what it will do is to assist with your efforts to testify about WHAT the Plaintiff’s FICO score was at the time of the adverse treatment.  It will also help credit expert witnesses like me who spend about half of their time as a credit expert witness for the defense.