Footnote in testimony


From: Lamers, Nellie J.
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 5:28 PM
To: Greg Fisher (
Cc: Weagley, Robert O.; Procter, Brenda
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers,

Mr. Fisher~

Robert Weagley, Ph.D., Department Chair, Personal Financial Planning, University of Missouri, will be releasing a new article about this topic on the 28th.

Also, Brenda Procter, State Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, spoke with Chi Chi Wu at the National Consumer Law Center. Wu said, “Although the credit reporting industry claims they do not sell credit scores to employers, there is nothing in the law to prohibit employers from obtaining a credit score if you give them written permission.”

I will let you know when Dr. Weagley’ s article is released- thanks~


From: Greg Fisher []
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2012 10:50 AM
To: Kimball Long, owner, publisher, El Dorado Springs Sun; Kenny Long, owner, editor, El Dorado Springs Sun; Lisa Schlichtman, executive editor, Cassville Democrat, Rust Communications; Gary W. Rust, chairman, Rust Communications (Cassville Democrat)
Cc: Margot Freeman Saunders, Of Counsel, National Consumer Law Center; Brenda Procter, state specialist & instructor, Personal Financial Planning, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri; Chi Chi Wu, expert, consumer credit issues ranging from credit cards to medical debt to fair credit reporting, & staff attorney, National Consumer Law Center; Chris Koster, attorney general, State of Missouri (via N. Gonder); Dean Mills, professor and dean, School of Journalism, University of Missouri; Nellie Lamers, specialist, Family Financial Education, Taney County, Southwest Region, University of Missouri; Robert O. Weagley, associate professor and department chair, CFP program director, college of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri; Dan Iannicola, Jr.; Timothy M. Wolfe, president, University of Missouri; David R. Bradley, chairman, Board of Curators, University of Missouri System; Brandon Ellington, representative, District 41, House of Representatives, State of Missouri; Leonard Hughes IV, representative, District 42, House of Representatives, State of Missouri; Press office, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Jay Nixon, governor, Missouri; Mark Horvit associate professor, executive director, Investigative Reporters and Editors, School of Journalism, University of Missouri
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, footnote in testimony

There is nothing in the law to prevent me from pitching a no-hitter in the World Series, either (I just don’t work for such low pay). There is no law preventing me from wearing green hats.  And, believe it or not (as incomplete as the law is) there is not even anything in it about unicorns, zombies, little green men nor keeping monkeys from flying out of my nose.

Indeed, there is nothing in the law to prohibit employers from obtaining a credit score.  But, inversely, if some Missouri legislators had their way, they would have actually changed the law to make it legal, expressly, to use credit scores in employment.  Perhaps they believe the hype.

National Consumer Law Center

This hysteria has gone on for years.  In 2005, a representative of the NCLC provided this testimony to Congress: “In some situations, workers are simply deemed ineligible for employment if they do not have adequate credit scores. In others, credit information and scores are checked on an ongoing basis by employers, and workers can be fired for negative information on their credit report, or even low credit scores.”

Also in 2005, with others, Ms. Wu signed a document that states, “Without a Disaster Information Shield, FICO scoring models could pose an affirmative barrier to the efforts of disaster victims to regain, and maintain, financial stability, access reasonably priced credit, and even regain employment.”

(Even is a well-worn cliché in this mess: Outrage at an invisible bogeyman.)

Earlier this year, I made a whistle stop train tour to get their attention.  Today, the first signer of that document is an associate director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

But before 2005, in USA Today, Gannett published, “More employers are screening job applicants by credit score.”

Unfortunately, the reporter is dead. His source material may be unavailable. Subsequently, regarding another item, the same media organization published, “An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly suggested that employers look at job applicants’ credit scores.”

Missouri Attorney General

Regarding consumer reports American citizens can obtain for no charge, the Missouri Attorney General states, “You will not see your credit rating (or credit score).”

This is item 5 in the attorney’s general Consumer Credit Quiz:

Your credit rating affects your ability to:

  • Obtain new financing, such as credit card accounts, lines of credit and loans
  • Be hired
  • Rent property
  • All of the above

The result of answering “All of the above“ is this:

All of the above. Your credit history may be considered by potential insurers, landlords and even employers.

Even employers.

This is not about credit scores, and it is not a game; at stake is something fundamental.  This is about media accuracy, errors and corrections.  It is also about inaccurate information, its origin, its consequences in a democracy and common sense.

Our First Amendment right ends at falsely shouting fire in a theatre.

Where do you publish corrections?

Greg Fisher
Page A2
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342