Posted by Ronin on April 19, 2001 at 11:45:33:
In Reply to: Response... posted by MikeW on April 19, 2001 at 10:27:12:
: I've mixed my comments in below
:If it were illegal, I would think some pissed off prospective renter would have hauled a LL into court about this. Since it still goes on pretty openly, I see no reason to assume it's illegal.
The City Charter was assumed constitutional for over 100 years until someone challenged it and won. 3-day notices by attorneys were assumed legal for decades until Sokolski challenged them and won. This is an area of law high in pro se litigants and most tenants dont know about the laws and can't afford attorneys with skills to pursue these rights. Therefore, your logic is faulty. Issues like this sit around and grow until a major class action hits.
: An accumulation of public records is still a public record. Just because a private company sent it's people to the courthouses, recorded the information, posted it on a database, and charged for the convenience of using that service does not change the fact that it is still public data. A credit report is something different.
Au contraire.... A purported public records database has to allow a person the opportunity to correct errors in it's compiling. That is why court records appear on the TRW and friends disclosure reports to consumers. This is pretty obvious, otherwise all a reporting company would have to do to avoid disclosure is claim the amount is from a judgment. Credit reports have always claimed to have public record information. It is not unheard of for them to confuse people with similar names and list wrong public information with the wrong consumer. Even the public records holder has to allow access and corrections under the Privacy Act (federal) and the state clones.
This is the heart of what the federal credit laws are about.... And I wouldnt be surprised if NYS didnt have stricter rules.
: Since the LL is not extending (or not) the applicant credit, this act is inapplicable.
Any person or entity that uses a credit report has to receive permission to do so and note the fact that information in the report was used in making such a decision and name the credit reporter used. If a landlord isnt checking credit reports for credit extension purposes, then his access to the reports is illegal (as I remember it), the only other legitimate purpose for access I've heard of is employment. Your argument that landlords arent extending credit is the exact argument the Second Circuit rejected in the Romea case in holding the attorneys to be debt collectors. In fact, if I remember correctly, they ridiculed the argument as frivolous.
Whether you are a landlord or not, the fact remains that you are clinging to a narrow interpretation of the word "credit" in a circuit which has soundly rejected that interpretation and determined tenants to be 'consumers' under the federal credit laws. Why?
In this months Rent Wars one of the stories discusses the fact that some of the tenant advisors gave bad advice. Do you advise tenants? Your not being a landlord is far worse than if you were. At least I can understand why a LL would want to cling to a definition that protects his activities.
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