60 Minutes Report Reveals The Broken Credit Report System In America

60 Minutes Report Reveals The Broken Credit Report System In America

60 Minutes had an excellent expose of the credit reporting industry and how Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are not concerned with fixing credit report errors.

The journalist on the story was Steve Kroft who really captured the frustration felt by so many consumers who cannot get the attention of the credit bureaus to fix a credit report with errors.

40 million Americans have errors — there are about 200 million Americans with credit reports.

But only 25% of Americans pull their credit reports each year.

If we don’t look at our credit reports, we normally can’t know if there are errors.

If we don’t know there are errors, we can’t fix the errors.

So pull your credit reports once a year at least.

You have the right to go to the FTC or your Attorney General but many consumers will find that ultimately the way to fix the problem is to sue the credit reporting agencies.

When we sue Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion in federal court, we get the same story from them.

“We don’t see where we did anything wrong.  We have to just repeat what the creditors tell us regardless of the documents that your client sent us.”

But once it dawns on them that they are in a federal court lawsuit (as Steve said, “Did you think it would take a federal court lawsuit to fix the problem?”), they tend to agree to correct the error and compensate our clients.

It is a shame that it takes this level of effort to get the bureaus to do what they can easily do without a lawsuit.

We also recommend you check out the extra story that CBS News has on this same subject.

The original story that aired is wonderful but this will be helpful also.

Start by pulling your credit reports, then dispute any errors, and if the errors are not corrected, then look into suing the creditor and the credit reporting agencies.

Contact Us.

If you live in Alabama and want to chat about this, give us a call at 205-879-2447.

You can also get in touch with us by filling out our contact form.

I look forward to chatting with you.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts


  1. Carlo G. Frazzano says:

    Dear Mr. Watts,

    Evidently the creditors still have considerable sway over what becomes Federal or State law when consumers are affected. The Republican led House has fought by refusing to let consumer oriented bills come to the floor for debate over the past 15 years. What happens is that it then becomes a matter for the individual states to deal with and there is much too much inconsistency witness various rules and regulations governing insurance policies across state lines as an example. Many of the conservative controlled legislatures refuse to deal with such matters for fear of offending business interests and thereby invite Federal intervention when the national population screams out for legislation and even then, big business lobbyists come out of the woodwork to lobby against consumer legislation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a perfect example where certain Republican Senators are vowing to hold up deficit reduction talks unless the CFPB is gutted or watered down. This is obstructionism at its grandest thereby giving Republicans the name of “Grand Obstructionist Party” While these matters should not be politicized, they are and it is quite obvious to the majority of the American people.
    The magnitude of the individual credit rating issue for the American people is indicated by the fact that about 60% of the citizens have credit problems in one form or another whether it be medical bills, foreclosure, late payments etc.

    Thanks for your good, conscientious work dealing with tough issues involving citizens of your state being taken advantage of.

    • JohnGWatts says:


      There are people not friendly to consumers on both sides of the aisles unfortunately.

      Thanks for your comment….

      It is amazing that such a high percentage of folks have errors. There are ways to fix these errors — we just have to be willing to take action.

      Appreciate your kind comments and take care of yourself.

      John Watts

  2. James Hasberry says:

    Thanks for the wealth of information. I am grateful to be in receipt of valuable information on broken credit reporting. I am a victum of duplicate reporting errors from one creditor. By following Attorney Watts advice the duplicate reporting was removed.

  3. D. Hamby says:

    The FCRA and FDCPA are laws that every person should be shown and learn how to use them to protect themselfs. Also, know that lots of courts have NO CLUE as the the basis of the laws and what they mean. I am fighting FDCPA cases against Dell Financial Services and Telus International and the court has no clue as the the FDCPA LAW is over any lease agrement that I am not a party too. My statue of limitations is running out while the court is trying to get up to speed(and failing).

    • JohnGWatts says:

      You are right — without knowing these laws, we are vulnerable and our credit reports are so important — even if we never apply for credit.

      Best wishes on your suit — hope that you are successful with it!


  4. Starla Tsosie says:

    Hi John, I found this article very interesting and informative. I knew it had taken me literally years to clean up my husbands credit reports but I had no idea that I had an alternative to all the frustrating letters and phone calls where they just repeatedly put me off. Thank you so much for the information. I always look forward to your news letters – I’m learning more and more with each one about the illegal and underhanded ways collection agencies work besides my own personal experience with them. Thank you again!

    • JohnGWatts says:


      Thanks for your comment! It can be very frustrating so I’m glad that you have made good progress.

      Thanks for the kind words on our newsletter — glad it is useful!

      Take care!

      John Watts

  5. Thanks John,

    Your informative articles are a Godsend as usual to consumers who are not aware of their rights. Just because a person owe a debt does not mean they should be treated abusively and disrespectfully. I have learn a lot during my experience with debt collectors and credit reporting bureaus and hope to continue to learn. God bless you and thanks again.


    • JohnGWatts says:

      Thank you Alma!

      I appreciate your kind comment.

      You are right — just because someone owes a debt does not mean they should be abused. They owe the debt — they should pay it. But the law still has to be followed.

      Just as if I am speeding — that is breaking the law — but I shouldn’t be shot or killed because of that. There is a price to pay and I pay it.

      I hope you continue to learn and then share your knowledge with others.

      Have a great week!

      John Watts

Leave a Comment