It is really amazing how the new Consumer Privacy Protection requirements are NEGATIVELY impacting folks trying to purchase a home. If you don't have a problem with your credit... count yourself very lucky! If you do... do not, I repeat, DO NOT dispute a minor error. A dispute will nullify your credit scores and render the credit report obsolete for AU mortgage transactions. This whole issue is further complicated by the "off shoring" of the customer service division of the Credit Repositories.
My most recent experiences have been with TransUnion. Their customer service representatives have no understanding of the western world's needs when it comes to correcting errors. Their English is good enough to pass, but they do NOT "get the concept" of what is requested and only parrot back their standard lines.
My latest example involves a young first time home buyer couple with two small children. Hubby pays alimony and due to a recent job transfer has had overlapping payments made to the County DA's office. Unfortunately, TransUnion read the ($$$) dollar report as "in arrears" when the DA's office reporting meant this to show a credit. To take care of this item the customer called TransUnion and was told to file a dispute. It would be researched and corrected. Everything went as promised. Within two weeks the customer had received a letter and print out from TransUnion showing that he was not in arrears. All's good... right? - Wrong.
TransUnion now includes - account disputed by consumer on the rating for this item. The original correction was made on 3/18, it is now 4/11 and still no resolution. The customers have called and requested the correction... the comments "consumer disputes" to be removed. Each time they are told to fax the request to a certain number... but no one will acknowledge receipt. The responses are "we will have to investigate with the Creditor and then let you know... this takes 7 to 10 days". We have been through this twice.
Even more frustrating, is the fact that as a lender I am now impotent to assist. In the last 20 years I have helped innumerable customers straighten out credit issues by participating in a conference call between them, the credit bureau and myself. This way I was able to explain the situation to the company... or the urgency and get the issue resolved. With the "new rules" conference calls are not allowed and as a lender although I have a copy of the report in front of me... TransUnion will not discuss any of the items on the report or what needs to be remedied.
After the last 30 minutes of working my way up the Supervisor levels at TransUnion's off shore customer service, I was finally transferred to the US and a normal North American employee that really spoke and understood English. Wow! It was from Betty that I learned that if there is an issue such as this... the customer can request to be transferred to a US main land customer service representative. Big step forward! We are hopeful that tomorrow the word "dispute" will be removed without another 10 day investigation. You see the borrowers have no more time. Their rate lock is expiring, the seller has lost patience and if submitted to underwriting the loan will be declined due to one word... "DISPUTE" and the total merry-go-round idiotic circle of TransUnion's non-customer service employees.