Experian Lawsuit Alleges Careless Numerous Errors
Experian Lawsuit Filed by Mississippi Attorney General
An Experian Lawsuit has been filed against the credit reporting giant by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s office. “Experian has turned its failure to maintain accurate credit reports and its refusal to investigate consumer’s disputes into a business opportunity” according to Mr. Hood. “Experian has for more than two decades engaged in an unyielding pattern and practice of violating federal and state law. They have mixed up identities and reported accounts as late or still owing when they were paid on time or fully settled.” Mr. Hood’s office spent more than a year interviewing former Experian employees and reviewing complaints befor filing the Experian lawsuit.
Old accounts or accounts extinguished in bankruptcy remained on reports. The Experian lawsuit goes on to say that Experian provides no logical way for consumers to correct erroneous blemishes. ” When consumers file a dispute Experian reflexively finds in favor of the bank or debt collector that reported it.” The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires the credit bureaus to follow procedures to ensure “Maximum possible accuracy.” Since 2000 the FTC and CFPB have filed 18 enforcement actions against the major credit bureaus that have resulted in $25.7 million in penalties.
The Experian lawsuit is the first major lawsuit against a credit reporting agency in years. The Experian lawsuit alleges that there are numerous errors in the data the company reports. Experian Information Systems is guilty of numerous violations of consumer protection laws according to the complaint. Experian routinely mixed up complaints involving people with the same name. They would not correct errors despite consumers providing detailed proof such as cancelled checks. Experian is the largest of the big 3 credit reporting agencies. For the fiscal year ending in March of 2014 they had $4.8 billion dollars in revenue with an after tax profit of $741 Million dollars…more than twice that of the same period in 2013. Potential fines and penalties seem to be treated as just a small cost of doing business.
The case is officially called Mississippi v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. 14-cv-00243, U.S. District Court, District Jacksonville
Experian Lawsuit Alleges Consumers Wrongly reported on Terrorist Watch
As if ruining your credit score with false, expired or misleading data is not bad enough the Experian lawsuit also contends that the company has wrongly reported consumers to be on a terrorist watch list.
A terrorist watch list? I can’t wait to hear more about the facts supporting this claim. What kind of damage could that do to a person’s reputation? What kind of damage award would such a false allegation be worth if the victims can prove their case? Ka-Ching.
Experian Lawsuit Supported by Documents Furnished by Experian Itself
Experian has apparently shot itself in the foot by furnishing documents that support the Attorney General’s case. Parties to lawsuits must produce relevant requested documents as part of the legal process known as “discovery” in civil lawsuits. Experian “knowingly included mistake filled data in the credit files of millions jeopardizing their ability to borrow, rent or even get responsible jobs” according to the plaintiff’s claim. Experian made an interesting statement in response to the claim:
“We might fail to comply with international, federal, regional, provincial, state or other jurisdictional regulations, due to their complexity, frequent changes or inconsistent application and interpretation.” What a lame defense! What judge is going to buy into that as an excuse for systematically breaking the law for a profit?
In another separate statement by company spokesman Gerry Tschopp “While Experian has cooperated fully with the attorney general regarding this matter, we feel this lawsuit is not based on facts and we intend to vigorously defend our company. To say we knowingly put errors on reports is false and unsupported by evidence and clearly calculated to be sensational.”
In an earlier statement to its investors Experian warned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its British counterpart are regulatory agencies responsible for protecting consumers and “It remains uncertain how these bodies may affect our additional consumer business processes and business models in the future.”
Real Credit Reporting Reform Could Come From the Experian Lawsuit
Let’s hope that the evidence that has been shielded from public view to protect “trade secrets” sees the light of day as this lawsuit progresses. Experian employees said they were pressured to meet production quotas with no more than 5 minutes allotted to handle each phone call. Bonuses were offered for speedy call handling with probation for those employees who fell behind. The Experian lawsuit could be the catalyst for real reform All of those complaints from consumers that the credit reporting giants have been tap dancing around may finally get a fair hearing. The results of this decision will go far beyond Experian alone. It will go far beyond the parties involved. The evidence that emerges from further discovery will hopefully result in real substantive reform of the credit reporting process at last.
There is also a separate investigation of the credit reporting agencies by 32 other states led by Ohio.