New Trade Association Aims To Improve Consumer Credit ExperienceFebruary 23, 2021
The American Association of Consumer Credit Professionals (AACCP) recently held a press briefing to announce its new formation as a trade association dedicated to advocating for “holistic consumer credit repair.” Despite the word “repair” missing from the trade group’s name, the association is comprised of credit repair industry experts and advocates for the credit repair industry.
Responding to a perceived gap between the significant credit problems facing consumers and limited efforts by regulators and lawmakers to help consumers overcome those problems, the AACCP aims to educate consumers about the responsible use of credit and their legal rights and responsibilities about how furnishers and consumer reporting agencies publish information about their creditworthiness. The group prides itself on being the only consumer advocate in the credit reporting system. The aim is to “support consumer access to credit through accurate, fair, and substantiated credit reports.” A short video on the group’s website also promises to protect consumers against bullying by “shadowy debt collectors.”
The AACCP wants stakeholders in the credit ecosystem to know that they do more than just fix tradelines on consumer reports. The group’s inaugural announcement and website explain how modern credit repair organizations offer consumers more because they:
- Know the industry and the laws designed to protect consumers;
- Understand the circumstances of individual consumers to help them raise relevant questions with creditors and other furnishers of credit report information;
- Operate with integrity and maintain a strong focus on compliance with applicable statutes;
- Help consumers review, analyze and understand their credit reports in order to identify items that may need to be challenged and, if possible, changed;
- Advocate on behalf of consumers to resolve potential issues on their credit report with creditors/furnishers and the Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs a/k/a credit bureaus); and
- Educate consumers on their credit reports, how to build positive credit, and encourage them to use credit responsibly.
The group describes these services as a “holistic approach to credit repair advocacy.” A stated focus of this advocacy is to bring racial equity and fairness to the credit system. The group’s founders are familiar players in the credit repair space, Progrexion and Lexington Law.
The credit repair industry is regulated by state and federal law. The Credit Repair Organizations Act (15 U.S.C.S. § 1679 et seq.) is the federal law governing all credit repair services. Like many other consumer protection laws, the CROA prohibits false and misleading behavior, requires certain consumer disclosures, empowers consumers with certain legal rights, and establishes a private right of action for consumers against credit repair organizations that do not follow the law. Many states have…