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New Credit Rules Impact Advertisers, Lenders

Recent credit related policies and issues

April 9, 2010

By SAM GARCIA


Companies that advertise credit reporting services are subject to new disclosure rules, while another new rule impacts companies that report to credit bureaus. A study from one of the credit repositories revealed a new trend is developing in mortgage payment performance.

An April 1 news release from the Federal Trade Commission said its amended Free Credit Reports Rule requires that ads offering free credit reports must have a disclosure at the top of each page. The required disclosure must mention that free credit reports are already available. It must also provide links to AnnualCreditReport.com and FTC.gov and note the phone number 877.322.8228.

In an earlier news release, the agency gave the following example of the disclosure for a Web site ad.


THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Read more at FTC.GOV.
You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
or 877-322-8228, the ONLY authorized source under federal law.

Disclosures were required for Internet advertising as of April 2, while radio and television advertisements must include the disclosure beginning Sept. 1.

In addition, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are required to delay advertising for products or services on AnnualCreditReport.com until after consumers get their free credit reports, according to the FTC.

The prior week, David Vladeck, the director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the Committee on Financial Services that the agency has completed most of the projects required by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

Vladeck noted that Furnisher Rules, which require companies that provide data to consumer reporting agencies to improve the accuracy of their data, take effect on July 1. The rules also enable consumers to dispute errors directly with the furnishers of the information and with consumer reporting agencies.

A recently announced quarterly study from TransUnion indicated that the trend of borrowers paying credit card payments before mortgage payments is growing. The credit repository said it analyzed borrowers who were 30 days delinquent on their credit card and mortgage payments between the second-quarter 2008 and the third-quarter 2009. Its underlying database included 27 million, randomly sampled, anonymous consumer records.

"This study found that the hierarchy reversal has become even more widespread, with the percentage of consumers who are delinquent on their mortgages and current on their credit cards rising to 6.6 percent in Q3 2009 from 4.3 percent in Q1 2008," TransUnion stated. "Conversely, the percentage of consumers who are delinquent on their credit cards and current on their mortgages has decreased to 3.6 percent in Q3 2009 from 4.1 percent in Q1 2008."

The report said that the payment hierarchy shifts were even more pronounced in severely impacted states like California and Florida.


Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of MortgageDaily.com in 2000.

e-mail:
[email protected]


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