Thursday, May 3, 2012

Woman Fired from Bain for Bad Credit Score

* Editor's Note: The Wall Street Journal examined 77 businesses that Bain invested in during Mitt Romney's tenure and concluded that 22% of the companies closed down or filed for bankruptcy reorganization within eight years, sometimes with substantial job losses.

"I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn't give me a good service that I need, I want to say, I'm going to go get someone else to provide that service to me." - Mitt Romney, January, 2012

Latoya Horton wasn't fired from Bain for giving "bad service", but for having a bad credit score. She writes:

Years ago I went to college to study accounting, and like millions of other Americans I took out student loans to pay for it.

A few years later I got a temporary job in the accounting department at [Mitt Romney's] Bain & Co., and after 6 months of reliable work I was thrilled to be offered a full-time position. However, just a few weeks after starting in my new position the company fired me because my debt-to-credit ratio was too high.

I later learned that 60% of employers now check credit reports, which typically include student debts. How are you supposed to pay off your student debts if you can't get (or keep) a job BECAUSE of your debts? And what do my student debts have to do with my ability to do a job well anyway?"

25 states have debated bills in the last year to restrict this practice, and in a number of these states one company has fought back the hardest against these efforts: credit reporting company TransUnion.

Latoya Horton has started an "easy to sign" petition denouncing TransUnion's un-American actions that targets those that were the most hurt by the big banks and the Great Recession.

What's ironic is, just like GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who outsourced jobs overseas and dodged corporate taxes at home, a woman named Penny Pritzker also sits on President Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council (which advises the President on putting Americans back to work) while she also chairs TransUnion -- and she is a part owner! How can someone advise on national job creation when her company sells products that may keep qualified people out of work?

Penny Pritzker is also the founder, chairman and CEO of PSP Capital Partners, a private equity firm she just started up late last year that would greatly benefit from Eric Cantor's recently proposed "Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012".

Penny Pritzker also has the Pritzker Realty Group (PRG), and is also the co-founder and chairman of Artemis Real Estate Partners, as well as a member of the board of Hyatt Hotels. Pritzker's family is among the wealthiest in the nation, having founded the Hyatt hotel chain.

It was recently announced that in the coming weeks TransUnion will be sold to two private equity companies, including Goldman Sachs. If Penny Pritzker is serious about job creation, she should do what she can to ensure that her company stops this abusive practice before the company is sold.

Is it just me, or do you also think the top 1% in both political parties are in collusion together while pretending to hate each other? The Occupy Wall Street people and the Tea Party members all seem to think so...and on this they agree: The establishment Democrats and Republicans have been "occupying" the same bed and having their own "tea party"!

More so now than ever, since Latoya Horton had once employed at Bain, for many long-term unemployed Americans the credit situation is a Catch-22: they can't land a decent-paying job due to their poor credit, and they can't improve their credit without a decent-paying job.

According to a report, as of two years ago in April 2010, more than 25% of working age American consumers had "very bad" credit scores below 599. FICO reported that 75 million Americans (50% of the labor force) had credit scores below 700, which they deem as only a "moderate" credit score--still not optimal for jobs in the financial sector.

While there was once a bill pending in Congress (H.R. 3149) that would have prohibited the use of credit checks against current and prospective employees for the purpose of "making adverse employment decisions", it has been long stalled since July of 2009 due to the intense lobbying efforts of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) and the right-wing (pro-big corporation) lobbying group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Just follow the money. Money talks in politics. Your vote is worth $0 in Congress. Democrats pretend to be representing the working people, but they are just like Republicans and only become bipartisan when they both receive $$$ from special interest groups. The list below shows this:

* Specific organizations opposing H.R.3149 - Source: OpenCongress.Org

Please join Latoya Horton, along with millions of unemployed Americans and 25 national civil rights organizations in calling on TransUnion to stop its sale of credit reports to employers. As the only one of the “Big 3” credit reporting companies that's privately held, TransUnion has the ability to stop this practice overnight.

Sign Latoya Horton's "easy to sign" petition on Change.Org demanding that TransUnion stop selling credit reports to employers immediately. If thousands of people sign Latoya's petition, it will shine a national spotlight on what the 99% thinks is an ethically dubious practice, and TransUnion's executives might feel compelled to respond.


  1. P.S.

    After signing the petition, they are other good petitions to sign (putting bankers in jail, ending oil subsidies, etc.)

  2. UPDATE:

    Warren Buffett’s media profile has been enhanced by his recent advocacy of the “Buffett Rule,” which would require individuals earning more than $1 million a year to pay a tax rate of at least 30%. Berkshire’s NetJets Inc. subsidiary lobbied Congress in recent years to cut a user fee that would benefit its wealthy customers. Did Warren have taxes in mind when it structured one of its largest recent deals, the acquisition of Marmon Industries?

    Berkshire acquired 64% of the conglomerate in 2008 from the Pritzker family, which also owns a majority voting stake in Hyatt Hotels. “Since nearly all friendly deals are structured to minimize cash taxes for the sellers, and since the sellers in this case were the Pritzker heirs, I’ve always wondered if Buffett agreed to do it this way to help a very rich family minimize their tax payments to the government, which goes against everything he stands for. I hope not.”