Credit Reports and the National Consumer Assistance Plan

May 25th, 2017

In response to consumer complaints about derogatory information on their credit files, action was taken and an investigation was launched by 31 state Attorneys General Offices. The three main credit bureaus– Equifax, Experian and Transunion– agreed to settle with the AGs, resulting in a plan referred to as NCAP.

What is NCAP?

NCAP is the National Consumer Assistance Plan, an initiative launched by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to make credit reports more accurate. Under the plan, the three credit bureaus are taking a number of steps to improve data accuracy and quality and make it easier for consumers to understand their credit information.

How does NCAP impact public records on credit reports?

As part of this initiative, the credit bureaus have developed enhanced Public Record data standards for the collection and timely updating of bankruptcies, civil judgments and tax liens. The new standards will apply to new and existing data on credit reporting databases and will require minimum consumer identifying information (PII), and a minimum frequency of courthouse visits to obtain newly filed and updated public records of at least every 90 days.

What is the impact to Sterling clients who use credit reports?

Effective July 1, 2017, the enhanced public record standards will be applied to all newly reported records, resulting in fewer public records being reported on credit reports. Effective July 10, 2017, the historical record clean-up will be complete, resulting in the removal of all civil judgments and 60% of tax liens from credit reports.

Transunion has put customers on notice to anticipate the following:

  • No change to bankruptcy public record data
  • Significant change to civil judgment public record data including removal of all existing civil judgment public record data
  • Significant change to tax lien public record data including removal of a minimum of 60% of tax lien public record data
  • Data changes and impacts associated with the enhanced collection frequency requirements, which will not be known until after the enhanced standards go into effect

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.