A Car Story About Credit Reports

December 21, 2007 5:13 am Published by

As a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana, I’m always reading up on all matters having to do with debt. Well, the other day, in a Commercial Law League article, a local attorney was writing about a case that I found fascinating. 

 

Here’s a quick version of that case:  A woman named Maria left her vehicle parked on the street, and it ended up getting towed.  The vehicle’s registration had expired, so the towing company, in order to get paid for towing and keeping the car, transferred the claim to a collection company.  The collection agency then requested a credit report on the owner of the car.  The credit bureau went ahead and provided the report.  Now Maria is suing both the collection agency and the credit bureau for violating her privacy.

 

The point here is that, since there was no credit transaction going on, no one but Maria had the right to request a credit report. The credit bureau was out of line for providing the report to anyone but Maria herself.  In other words, there is an important principle at work – protecting consumer privacy.

 

One of the big myths about bankruptcy is that one’s consumer privacy will be gone, and ”Everybody will know.” In fact, unless you happen to be an especially prominent person or a major corporation, (in either of these cases the media might pick up the story), the only people likely to know about your bankruptcy are your creditors (plus anyone with whom you choose to share the information).   All the privacy laws that are the basis for Maria’s lawsuit will continue to protect you through – and after- you file bankruptcy.

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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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