Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard or read about the landmark settlement agreement reached between the New York Attorney General and the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You can read more about it here, and here. The credit report changes will impact consumers nationwide and not just those living in the state of New York, as it didn’t make sense for the credit bureaus to have two policies dependent on where you live.
It is important to understand that many of the pending credit report changes will require an extensive amount of programming work on the part of the CRAs. These companies can’t simply snap their fingers and enact such massive overhaul to their established processes. As a result, the CRAs have been given up to 39 months to fully implement said changes.
The roll out of the numerous credit report changes set forth in the settlement agreement is broken down into a series of three phases. Each phase has a deadline. Below is a summary of the actual timeline, specified in the settlement agreement, detailing the deadlines that the CRAs must follow when implementing each phase of the settlement.
Phase 1 Deadline: September 8, 2015
The initiatives included in Phase 1 of the agreement are required to be implemented by no later than 6 months from the date the agreement was signed (aka the “Effective Date.”) on March 8, 2015. They include the following:
- Dispute Procedure Change: When a consumer submits a dispute to a CRA containing supporting documentation AND the creditor or collector verifies the account without making any changes, then the CRA will be required to assign an agent of its own to review the documentation and to make changes to the disputed account IF (and only if) the agent determines a change is warranted.