Who has the right to collect data about me?

Joan in Wisconsin recently had trouble getting a loan because of mistakes in her credit report. She's wondering: Just what gives credit agencies the right to collect files on us anyway?

Recently, my husband and I applied for a mortgage and a credit check was run for both of us. My husband's credit score came back low from two of the bureaus and interfered with our ability to process the mortgage. The problem is that all the debt (thousands of dollars of medical bills) that was lowering his score was not his! It was another person's who had the same first and last name, and had lived in the same state. Why should I have to go through a written appeal process to fix an error that they themselves committed? Who gives credit bureaus power to apply debts against your credit score without having to inform you that they have done it? Who has the right to collect data about me? - Answer Desk - MSNBC.com

Linked by shanmuga Tuesday, 21st November 2006 12:40AM