This last week and a half has been full of headlines regarding the most recent cybersecurity incident. As a real estate practitioner or consumer, your credit score and access to credit is integral to your ability to participate in our economy.
For several years, the National Association of REALTORS®, Asian Real Estate Association of America, National Association of Real Estate Brokers and National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals have been engaged at a national level on credit reform both within regulatory and legislative realms. Those efforts, in addition to pressure from many states attorneys general, have resulted in positive change for some. As of July 1, reforms have been implemented that would cut down the incidence of reporting mistakes of tax liens and civil judgments.
However, just when credit policy takes a turn in the right direction, wham!, we are hit with another major security breach. As you likely already heard, Equifax, Inc. has been hacked and it’s possible you are a victim.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is working on helping Illinois consumers address the issue by both putting pressure on Equifax to respond and protect consumers. In a press release, she is giving information on where to go on the Equifax website for help and sharing some pointers on how to protect yourself.
As an industry that is tirelessly involved in advocacy efforts on credit policy and helping people become homeowners or find perfect properties for their businesses, we know just how important your credit score and your identity is. Be proactive, check your credit score regularly and watch your accounts. It is far better to catch something sooner rather than later.