Worried about public and private agencies learning about you and your families’ most intimate personal financial privacy details? You’re not alone. In fact, most people seem to accept the fact that certain “institutions” have your business and personal money and property details in their data bases.
Readers may be interested in how to live privately.
As this article’s subject concerns financial privacy, James Clark King, LLC, publisher has free financial resources which may be of interest to those who wish to preserve and protect their financial privacy.
The credit bureaus have long been established as the “know-it-all” agencies-private agencies that know all there is to know about you and your finances. In fact, one privacy expert, Jack Dunning who was recently interviewed by Privacy Crisis and Privacy Crisis Banking author and privacy expert, Grant Hall, believes the credit bureaus are here to stay and it is difficult to thwart their monopoly and manipulation of the average person’s financial life. I’m paraphrasing Mr. Dunning’s responses to Mr. Hall’s questions throughout the interview and this interpretation is mine as well as my own opinion of his responses. It seems this is a consensus view among privacy experts-that our privacy is evaporating and that there is nothing we can do about it. Grant Hall interviewed PT Shamrock who stresses that privacy is indeed deteriorating and provides insightful information for the perpetual traveler during the interview.
Both Mr. Dunning and PT Shamrock are quite experienced in the privacy arena. And their views are noted and taken seriously by this author.
I wondered what Mr. Grant Hall thinks about our privacy being invaded and whether he echo’s the consensus of the above experts on the subject. Mr. Hall has done radio interviews on the subject of personal and business privacy. In addition, he has written a number of articles on financial privacy. So I contacted him for a mini-interview for this article for the benefit of our readers. Here is the bulk of that interview:
Sue Holtzen: Grant, I am glad you agreed to field my questions. Thanks for your help and clarification on the privacy invasion we as American’s and others in the world face concerning privacy. Tell me, Grant, what is your view on our current state of privacy?
Grant Hall: Hello, Sue. It’s my pleasure to speak with you again. Thanks for thinking of me. In regard to your question concerning our state of privacy, I believe we have to break privacy down, both geographically as well as the kind of privacy we discuss in order to provide a picture of the state of privacy at the current time.
Sue Holtzen: I see. How about the credit bureaus? The three major credit bureaus seem to dictate to the American public as far as their credit or borrowing worthiness is concerned. This seems like a monopoly with Big Brother dictating to the public as well as those who the public wants to do business with. A historical log of the public’s financial history-not always accurate reporting I might add is a permanent record of credit bureaus.
Grant Hall: The credit bureaus do, in my view have a reporting monopoly on the history of Americans’ financial history. And it is not always accurate as you point out, Sue. In my interview with Mr. Dunning, the credit bureaus were discussed and he does, I believe agree with me on that point-that the credit bureaus are dictating to the public and the major ones, the big three are difficult to challenge. In fact, it is my experience they infrequently answer their phones and require endless documentation in order to contest a simple error-perhaps an incorrect date of a payment to a credit bureau subscriber by a clerical person. Something such as this, a simple error can drastically lower a credit score and wreck a person’s creditability.
Sue Hotzen: Do you have any ideas on how to handle these privacy invasions imposed upon us by the credit bureaus?
Grant Hall: Yes. I do not subscribe to the popular view that we have lost our privacy to the credit bureaus. I’m speaking about U.S. privacy now and specifically about the big three credit bureaus. I want to narrow our discussion to these points, please.
Sue Holtzen: Okay, Grant.
Grant Hall: It’s possible to live very well without the credit bureaus’ interfering with your life. And I believe in borrowing and credit as a matter of fact. But I do not believe in bad borrowing. Nor do I believe in being slaves to credit bureaus and their institutional friends.
Sue Holtzen: Please explain.
Grant Hall: Okay. Good borrowing is generally limited to business borrowing following a thorough analysis and a study of the asset to be purchased with borrowed money. I’m in the minority with this line of thinking. I follow these principles. I borrowed money to buy our last home. The credit bureaus were never aware of this debt. That method is fully explained in my financial privacy e-Book, Privacy Crisis Banking.
Sue Holtzen: I read Privacy Crisis Banking, Grant. Essentially, you used money with very low rates or just fees for the transaction, I believe, and the debt was actually shifted to another entity. Is that correct?
Grant Hall: Yes. During that transaction, the cost of money was very low. And I borrowed against an asset and the money was paid back with a credit line. And there were no restrictions on what could be purchased with the money. It’s important to always stay above board in these more complicated and non-traditional loans and transactions. I stress that point. As outlined in the book, Privacy Crisis Banking, large transactions or loans can be achieved while the credit bureaus are unaware of the reason for the purchase. In other words, privacy is achieved. In this case, home privacy, perhaps the most important part of one’s total privacy plan was kept a secret. That is quite different than going to the mortgage company, getting “approved” for X amount of money and buying a house over a thirty year period-a bad idea in my opinion, unless one is truly at the beginning of an uptrend in houses in the area one is buying into and then leverage can be utilized very advantageously. However, in my view, giving the credit bureaus, the lending company and anyone who has access to the credit bureaus’ reports a roadmap to your front door is always a bad idea. That’s why I stress non-traditional borrowing for personal and business privacy.
Sue Holtzen: Thank you, Grant. We’ll continue another time.
Grant Hall: Thank you, Sue.