Fighting the Post-Recession Repression
Let’s take those 90,000 unemployed workers who once had manufacturing jobs in Ohio. They lost their livelihoods because of the indiscriminate economic downturn….through no fault of their own. That they cannot pay their bills and obligations places them into a credit report nightmare. Yet there does not seem to be any plan out there that eliminates unfair derogatory credit information which will inevitably be posted by Equifax, Experion and Trans Union. These innocent credit casualties may suffer consequences for years to come, even as the rougue institutions who created this incomprehensible money mess rebound and walk down a reassured Wall Street in the months to come.
Long after the recession passes and America regains its new form of economic footing, new jobs in a stronger economy will be found by the currently unemployed. However, those tarnished with the stigma of being without a means to make a living due to lay offs and plant closures in these dark days will continue to suffer by having to live with negative comments on their individual credit reports. Created through no malfeasance on the part of these debtors, those disparaged credit records will last between seven to ten years. Presumably the ability of each affected reportee to obtain reasonable credit terms may result in a legacy of punishment with excessively high interest rates, and in some cases, lost opportunities to rebuild responsible financial futures.
Congress must do something substative to assist these economic refugees by eliminating bad credit reports for those who have lost their jobs due to the severe landslide in all sectors of financial life. Under the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, which regulates credit bureaus and their reporting activities, lawmakers should establish strict criteria to allow deletion of negative data for the blameless who seek to rebuild their economic standing. This can be accomplished by identifying those who created their own financial mess by intentionally not paying obligations when they had the means, from those who did everything they could to protect their financial reputations, but could not due to forces far beyond their control. Such is a national recovery imperative. Failure to recognize that the effects of the current disaster may linger for up to a decade for those who deserve clean bureau histories is to ignore a clear and present danger which stands in the way of a genuine recovery which is meaningful to all.
Bad credit notations for the innocent should not be permitted, or the spiral of economic punishment of the innocent will linger, for years to come.