Since July 1, the 3 nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) began enforcing stricter standards on the public records they collect. As part of the previously announced National Consumer Assistance Plan (NCAP), the credit bureaus have developed “enhanced” public record data standards for the collection and timely updating of civil judgments and tax liens.
The NCAP is an initiative launched by the 3 major credit bureaus to “make credit reports more accurate and make it easier for consumers to correct any errors on their credit reports.”
The plan stemmed from a 2015 settlement between the three credit bureaus and several state attorneys general. The plan has a 3-year implementation period starting in March 2015.
The new standards apply to new and existing public record data on credit reporting databases and require:
The standards apply to consumer reporting databases that maintain civil judgment data where, according to the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), a vast majority of data may not meet PII requirements. With respect to tax lien data, approximately half of this data may not meet the PII requirements.
The goal is to remove incomplete and/or inaccurate public record data from consumer reports. The concern, however, is that removing this information could make some loan applicants appear to be a better credit risk than they actually are.