Can credit information be shared with other businesses?

I own a veterinary hospital and recently applied for credit with a new distributor. I was not turned down but was not offered very good billing terms. When I asked why I was told it was because of my past history with other distributors. I asked how they knew about my past payment history and they said that most of the larger distributors had gotten together and created an internet exchange service to discuss credit. They said they did not run my clinics D&B or check my personal credit history (my personal credit score is usually in the 750 range and gets me pretty good credit rates). Their decision was based soley on this exchange’s information. I have no way to verify or dispute the information of this service and was wondering if this was legal or not. I did get my original credit applications for several of these distributors and most of them state that they may gather information about me and my company but no where does it state they can release or share personal or credit information about me or my company. Is this something I should persue or just let it go?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. You need to understand that in today's age of quick access to information one's personal information, including credit history is not so private and is subject to dissemination by one's creditor to other creditors without the knowledge or approval of the person whose credit information is being given out.

This is what happended in your situation and it is not at all unusual to have happened. What occurred was entirely legal in that your credit history is being assessed by third parties who then create a credit report and ranking. Although you may have signed credit applications with distributors stating that they can gather information about you and your company, from what you have written there is no reference prohibiting the sharing of your credit information.

From what you have written, I see nothing that you can do legally to stop what has happened or a basis for filing a lawsuit.

 


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