Few expert witnesses are more in demand and less in supply than the true credit expert witness. The complexities of consumer credit dictate that the witness must have firsthand knowledge not only of the industry, but also the practices of lenders, credit reporting agencies and credit score developers. In layman’s terms, he or she must be able to provide commentary not only on the credit report and credit score, but also on any changes in credit reputation, damage caused by negligence, or disingenuous accusations of lender misconduct as well as embellished economic damage reports.
John Ulzheimer is an expert in credit reporting, credit scoring, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Metro 2 credit reporting language and standards, the credit report dispute resolution process, ACDVs, AUDs, and credit report disclosures versus credit reports. Ulzheimer is twice Fair Credit Reporting Act certified by the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), which is the trade association of the credit reporting agencies.
The Role of a Credit Expert Witness
Credit Report Review
Credit Damage Assessment
Also called an “Impact Analysis”, this is quantification of the impact, if any, to credit scores caused by the inclusion of some piece of credit information. This information can be a late payment, a public record, a balance, a collection, an inquiry, or a loan default. This can only be done by someone who has deep knowledge of FICO’s credit scoring systems, how FICO dilutes Metro 2 credit data to the attribute level, how FICO buffers hard inquiries, and how to backdate credit information.
Economic Credit Damage Assessment
Most credit expert do not quantify credit damages as there is no generally recognized method for doing so. There is no “miles per hour” or “pounds per square inch” style standard in credit damages. However, if loans and other forms of credit are adversely priced as a result of incorrect credit information, that can be valued.
Expert Reports and Rebuttal Expert Reports
All of my reports are written in the Rule 26 format, regardless of whether or not the case is in Federal court. A proper expert report is written after a thorough review of relevant discovery, which will clearly identify opinions in easy to read and understand language, along with citation and other basis. As there are only a handful of credit expert witnesses, I am very familiar with the expert reports written by adverse Plaintiff’s only expert witnesses.
I have testified on the topic of consumer credit in both Federal and state courts. I’ve provided sworn testimony over 90 times using a variety of formats (In person, Telephonic, Skype, Zoom).
In credit damage cases there’s almost always a need for credit reports (current and past), adverse action letters, FICO scores, and other relevant documents. I’ll ensure that you know what to ask for, or why you’re being asked to produce certain items.
Adverse Expert Deposition Preparation
In the credit expert witness space there aren’t that many players, but almost all of them are Plaintiff’s only experts. All commonly used credit expert witnesses know each other as we seem to keep running into each other over and over. I am intimately familiar with their expert reports and their abilities, or lack thereof. When it comes time for you to depose the adverse credit expert witness, I will have already provided you with a long list of questions that will help to identify weaknesses.
Procedures and Reasonableness
One of the common threads throughout FCRA, FDCPA and credit damage claims is the question of whether someone’s actions (normally a credit bureau, lender, or collection agency) were “reasonable.” As I’ve spent actual time working at or with credit bureaus, lenders or collection agencies, I have a unique perspective of industry procedures and have successfully offered opinions as to reasonableness relative to credit reporting and dispute resolution.
Similar to an Impact Analysis, Hand Scoring is the process whereby I convert raw credit report data into an estimation of a consumer’s FICO credit scores. This is only necessary when a consumer is unable to (or refuses) to provide information about their credit scores in the discovery process. Hand Scoring can be accomplished working with archived credit reports (from an older point in time) or a more contemporary credit report disclosure claimed from one of the many websites that give away credit reports. Hand Scoring requires the same credit scoring skill set as the Impact Analysis.
If you are looking for a credit expert who has worked in the credit reporting and credit scoring industries and has provided expert services hundreds of times, please feel free to contact me the discuss your case.
Contact John Ulzheimer at (866) 985-8884 to discuss your case.