For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Kriss Bivens Cloyd
(208) 334-4119

Date: May 20, 2015

Credit Reporting Agencies Agree to $6 Million Settlement

(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has reached a $6 million settlement with the three largest credit reporting agencies—Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc., and TransUnion LLC. The settlement announced today is part of a multistate settlement with 30 other state attorneys general.

“I’m pleased the credit reporting agencies and the states were able to reach a fair resolution of this matter,” Attorney General Wasden said. “The settlement helps control the accuracy and type of personal and financial information that banks, employers, landlords, insurance companies, and others use every day to judge consumers.”

State attorneys general investigated the three agencies for several years, focusing on credit report error disputes, problems with credit information providers, and how the agencies marketed their credit monitoring products to consumers. Today’s settlement addresses these concerns by providing better protection for consumers who dispute credit report errors.

The credit reporting agencies must:

  • Provide Internet links at www.annualcreditreport.com for consumers to quickly access each agency’s online dispute website;
  • Implement an escalated process for handling complicated credit report disputes (e.g., identity theft or fraud);
  • Notify the other agencies if one agency discovers a consumer’s information has been mixed with another’s; and
  • Allow consumers to obtain one additional free credit report in a 12-month period if they dispute information on their credit report and a change is made as a result of the dispute.

There are limits now on information that may be added to a credit report and higher standards for credit information providers. Credit reporting agencies can no longer add information about fines and tickets on credit reports. They must require debt collectors to provide the original creditor’s name and information about the debt before the debt information is added to a credit report and must improve their data-sharing system.

There have also been limits placed on credit monitoring marketing. Credit reporting agencies cannot market their credit monitoring services while handling a consumer dispute call and must tell customers that purchasing a product is not required to dispute information on their credits reports.

The settlement also requires the credit reporting agencies to inform consumers about other resources available to them if they want to challenge the findings of a credit report dispute investigation. Idaho consumers may file complaints with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Idaho will receive $217,507 from the settlement to reimburse the Attorney General for fees and investigative costs and expenses. The credit reporting agencies will implement the required changes in three phases over the next three years.

Wasden encourages Idahoans to check their credit reports for errors at least once a year.

“Identity theft and security breaches involving financial, medical, and other personal data are increasing,” Wasden said. “Reviewing your credit report for errors and anomalies is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your credit and personal information.”

For information about obtaining your free annual credit report, disputing errors on your credit report, credit scores, and protecting your private information, consumers should visit the Attorney General’s website.

- End -

News by Year:
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003