NEW LENDING GUIDELINES FOR CONSUMERS WHO HAVE A CREDIT FREEZE
Fannie Mae recently published guidance related to its Desktop Underwriter (DU) application. Effective November 18, 2017, the Fannie Mae lending guidelines will allow lenders to accept credit reports from 2 – instead of the current required 3 – nationwide credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. The exception to the tri-merge requirement rule may occur when all of the following conditions are met:
(1) credit data is available from two credit bureaus;
(2) the consumer’s credit score is obtained from at least one of two credit bureaus; and
(3) the lender requested reports from all 3 bureaus (a tri-merge or 3-in1 report).
Read the publication Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2017-10 2017.12.17).
Currently, the DU application will issue an error message when the potential borrower has a credit freeze at one of the credit bureaus. The new rule will allow lenders to underwrite mortgages using 2 consumer reporting agencies’ reports. If the consumer has a freeze at two or more credit bureaus, then the consumer will be ineligible for approval of the loan.
Presumably, the new rule went into effect in light of the recent Equifax data breach. The Equifax data breach affected at least 145 million consumers. Equifax offered a free credit freeze to consumers for a limited time. By freezing your credit file, potential lenders are not able to get your credit report. A freeze is a helpful tool for identity theft victims because identity thieves are unable to open new credit accounts because the potential lenders cannot obtain the identity theft victim’s credit report. The credit bureaus do not want you to freeze your file because when your file is frozen, the credit bureaus cannot sell your report. The majority of revenue earned by the credit bureaus is from selling consumer reports.
The Adkins Firm represents identity theft victims and consumers with errors on credit or background reports. We represent consumers in federal court under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Are you a victim of identity theft? Do you have errors on a credit or background report? Have you disputed the false information and the credit reporting agencies “verified” the false information? Then you may be entitled to actual damages, including money damages for credit denials and attorneys’ fees.
Contact us for a free case review.