Lenders must now lift the veil on credit scoring in CA

SACRAMENTO: California consumers have a PR and grassroots campaign to thank for the passage of a new state law requiring mortgage lenders to lift the veil on credit-scoring practices.

SACRAMENTO: California consumers have a PR and grassroots campaign to thank for the passage of a new state law requiring mortgage lenders to lift the veil on credit-scoring practices.

SACRAMENTO: California consumers have a PR and grassroots campaign to thank for the passage of a new state law requiring mortgage lenders to lift the veil on credit-scoring practices.

On September 30, Gov. Gray Davis signed SB 1607, a bill cosponsored by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and the Consumers Union that enables California mortgage applicants to access their credit scores and a full description of all the factors that went into it. Nearly 80% of all mortgage lenders use these credit scores as the primary determinant of their decisions.

Two previous attempts at similar legislation had failed due to the lobbying efforts of the banking industry.

This time, however, the CAR teamed up with the Consumers Union and hired a PR firm - San Diego-based Stoorza Communications - to create a groundswell of public support.

From February through September, and for less than dollars 100,000, Stoorza worked with local members of the CAR to generate letters to the editor and op-ed pieces, which snowballed into national coverage.

Strategically, the agency tied the campaign to the hot issue of consumer privacy.

Stoorza's work produced around six million media placements. According to the CAR's SVP of governmental affairs Alex Creel, Stoorza 'educated our membership about what we were doing (on this bill),' and 'helped educate the public on the issue of credit score disclosure.'



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