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Pulling The Trigger: Credit Agencies Share Your Mortgage Info For A Buck

In Kenneth R. Harney’s column Credit Bureaus Share Your Loan Application [Washington Post] [1], he describes how the credit agencies actually notify your lender’s competitors within 24 hours of a mortgage application. Most assume this is private information, but apparently it is not.

credit scores, open mortgage balances, loan-to-value ratios, monthly mortgage payments, revolving debt balances and other personal financial data

The big 3 credit agencies are:

Spokesmen for Equifax and Experian confirmed that their firms do offer 24-hour “trigger” lists of applicants for mortgage credit. TransUnion did not comment on whether it provides overnight contact data. Equifax and Experian said their marketing of overnight mortgage inquiry leads violated no federal or state rules and is merely a speedier version of their routine sales of lists for other preapproved offers of credit.

Its very annoying but listen to this web site with the sound on – it explains how easy it is for lenders to get information about your mortgage application: Mortgage Inquiry Data Inc. [5] This firm uses Equifax as it credit source and then re-packages the information to sell to lenders.

I find this all very unnerving. It seems to me that consumers should be given the ability to opt out. Where’s Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley when you really need them?