Name one

[PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE]

From: Greg Fisher, Page A2
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:19 PM
To: Robert O. Weagley, associate professor and department chair, CFP program director, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri; Cynthia E. Crawford, extension professional & Family Financial Education specialist, CO-CPD, Saline Co. and Central Missouri Region, Saline County MU Extension Center, University of Missouri
Cc: Gilbert Bailon, editor in chief, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Jim Gallagher business reporter and columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Janet LaFon, specialist, Family Financial Education, Southwest Region, Jasper Co. MU Extension Center, University of Missouri
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, We Are the 98 Percent

Well, if that is the case, then who in the world told you that only “about 2% of people have a score of 800 or more”?

That’s enough to take away a man’s will to live!

http://pfp.missouri.edu/financial/documents/MYFICO.pdf#page=9

Name an employer who uses credit scores—just one.


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342


From: James Gallagher, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:26 PM
To: Greg Fisher. Page A2
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, vs. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dear Mr. Fisher: This seems to be an issue between you and the University of Missouri. This newspaper is not involved.

Jim Gallagher
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
[PHONE NUMBER]


A portion of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Corrections Policy in 2008

Readers should never be forced to wonder what is being corrected. They shouldn’t be left guessing where the error occurred.” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch Corrections Policy in 2008

[PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE]

From: Weagley, Robert O.
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2012 11:03 AM
To: ‘Greg Fisher’
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, footnote in testimony

Mr. Fisher – We publish our Financial Tip of the Week on Friday mornings. We will rewrite the piece you are concerned about with wording similar to what is highlighted below, when it is my turn again in the cycle. I don’t know what else we can do, nor do I fully understand what it is that you think we should do.

There is nothing wrong with employers looking at your credit score, if you give them permission.

– Rob Weagley


From: Greg Fisher, PageA2.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 11:08 AM
To: Gilbert Bailon, editor in chief, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Jim Gallagher business reporter and columnist, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; Steve Giegerich, business reporter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Cc: Mary E. Junck, chairman, president and CEO; chairman, Executive Committee, Lee Enterprises; Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway (via M. Reilly, Omaha World-Herald); Kimball Long, owner, publisher, El Dorado Springs Sun; Nellie Lamers, family financial edcuation specialist, 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.
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, vs. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Recently, I beat my head against a wall trying to get a straight answer from some wacky thing in your state called Mizzou.

Then, I remembered that, three years ago, I corresponded with your organization about a couple of your of items.  Subsequently, you made corrections (but you put them on internet pages—separate from the actual articles’ internet pages—where they hardly do any good).

Anyway, could you find out what is going on in Columbia?

What is your correction policy, by the way?


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[NEXT CORRESPONDENCE]

Footnote in testimony

[PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE]

From: Lamers, Nellie J.
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 5:28 PM
To: Greg Fisher (greg@pagea2.com)
Cc: Weagley, Robert O.; Procter, Brenda
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, FreeScore.com

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~

Nellie


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
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:

Correct!
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
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[NEXT CORRESPONDENCE]

Press release journalism

[PREVIOUS CORRESPONDENCE]

From: Lamers, Nellie J.
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 11:34 AM
To: ‘Greg Fisher’; Kenny Long, owner, El Dorado Springs Sun
Cc: UM President; Board of Curators
Subject: RE: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, corrections location

Hi Greg~

In general, nobody can get a copy of your report or score without your written consent, from: http://www.freescore.com/who-can-check-my-score.aspx:

“Any people or organizations who have a “legitimate business need” can check your credit score. The phrase “legitimate business need” casts a broad net over who can access your credit score, and people and entities that fall under the category include:

  • Current and prospective employers (with your consent)”

Thanks for your message~

Nellie

Nellie Lamers Family Financial Education Specialist University of Missouri Extension [WITHHELD BY PAGE A2] [WITHHELD BY PAGE A2] Phone:  [WITHHELD BY PAGE A2] FAX:      [WITHHELD BY PAGE A2]

E-mail: [WITHHELD BY PAGE A2]

URL: http://extension.missouri.edu/taney/

“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” Albert Einstein

Subscribe now to the FREE Southwest Region News Service: http://extension.missouri.edu/swregion/news


From: Lamers, Nellie J.
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 12:36 PM
To: Greg Fisher; Kenny Long, owner, El Dorado Springs Sun
Cc: UM President; Board of Curators
Subject: RE: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, corrections location

Meant to include this link also: http://missourifamilies.org/features/consumerarticles/consumerpdfs/creditreportbasics05.pdf

Thanks~


From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 9:07 AM
To: Lamers, Nellie J.
Cc: Kenny Long, owner, El Dorado Springs Sun; UM President; Board of Curators; Weagley, Robert O.; Gary Johnson, president & CEO, Vertrue Incorporated (FreeScore.com member support address); Carrie Coghill, director of consumer education, FreeScore.com; Lisa Schlichtman, executive editor, Cassville Democrat, Rust Communications; Gary W. Rust, chairman, Rust Communications (Cassville Democrat); Dieckmann, Rebecca; Jay Nixon, governor, Missouri
Subject: RE: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, FreeScore.com

Ms. Lamers:

Since employment credit reports do not contain credit scores, how do employers obtain scores?  Is there a black market?

Here are statements by the three biggest national consumer reporting agencies:

“There’s no such thing as a credit score in employment.” – TransUnion, in testimony

“We do not knowingly provide scores for pre employment screening.” – Equifax vice president of communications

“Employers never get credit scores.” – Experian, July 18

Despite those clear statements, many people, companies and institutions (such as yours) still claim that employers use credit scores.  None have evidence, and neither do you.  For instance, last year, news agency Reuters said that Fair Isaac (aka FICO) told them that credit scores can be accessed and used by employers.  Reuters believes it.

Another University of Missouri document (dated 2008) states, “First, a low FICO score can be used by employers.”

Visa U.S.A. says, “Your credit score is a complex calculation of your past financial behavior, like with credit cards and loans, that results in a number of ‘points’ that is not only used by lenders and creditors, but also landlords and employers, when making important decisions about your future.”

Even Experian, contradicting its statement above, makes the claim: “More Employers Check Applicants’ Credit Scores.”

So, thinking independently and critically, and applying rigor in your research, which do you believe?

I wrote to FreeScore.com.  So did the Federal Trade Commission.

Speaking of free, your second link leads to a University of Missouri document that states: “Be cautious about companies offering ‘free credit reports’ on slick TV commercials, on websites or in magazine advertisements. Many of them have a snag such as having to pay a hidden fee for some other service they offer or requiring a subscription of some kind.”

The word score does not even appear in that document.  What point are you making with it?

What is the name of an employer who uses credit scores?

You failed to answer this question:  Where do you publish corrections?  Please answer it.

The inaccurate information from your press release is spreading.  Please answer the questions or issue a retraction before the myth goes any further.


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342


From: Lamers, Nellie J.
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 12:38 PM
To: Greg Fisher (greg@pagea2.com)
Cc: Weagley, Robert O.; Procter, Brenda
Subject: RE: FW: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, FreeScore.com

Mr. Fisher~

We are investigating further and I will let you know.

Corrections will be sent to the original story outlets.

Thank you~

Nellie


[NEXT CORRESPONDENCE]

El Dorado Springs Sun, corrections location

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@pagea2.com]
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 2:11 PM
To: Kenny Long, owner, El Dorado Springs Sun
Cc: Nellie Lamers, specialist, Family Financial Education, Taney County, Southwest Region, University of Missouri; Timothy M. Wolfe, president, Univeristy of Missouri; David R. Bradley, chairman, Board of Curators, University of Missouri System
Subject: El Dorado Springs Sun, credit score, employers, corrections location

See this message and your response at http://www.pagea2.com/?p=411.

You published, “’Creditors, employers, landlords and others use your credit report and score to determine the interest rate you pay and whether or not you are offered a job, lease or credit,’ said [University of Missouri Extension family financial education specialist Nellie] Lamers.”

Employers do not use credit scores because they cannot even get them.

Where do you publish corrections?


Greg Fisher
Page A2
pagea2.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[NEXT CORRESPONDENCE]