Experian Loses Class Action Lawsuit
Experian to pay $22.45M settlement for claims over inaccurate credit reporting
The Fair Credit Reporting act (FCRA) was passed in 1970 to help protect consumers from inaccurate, unfair or misleading information in their credit histories. The FCRA requires credit reporting agencies to follow strict guidelines regarding the collection, use and sharing of personal information. These rules also require credit reporting agencies to provide accurate information to consumers who request it.
What Is the Purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
Passed in 1970, FCRA helps consumers understand how to access and correct information in their credit reports, and what action they can take if they find errors. Consumers can request one free copy of their report every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. They also have the right to dispute inaccurate information in their report.
Experian has agreed settle claims it hurt consumers' ability to get credit by including inaccurate and untrue information about them on their credit reports.
The consumer credit reporting agency also agreed to a settlement that will compensate tens of millions individuals who were inaccurately flagged as being at high risk or non-residents. Plaintiff Lisa hill-green accused Experian in September 2018 of making her a credit file which used an outdated home location with inaccurate information to report it as being high-risk for credit theft, reports Law360. Green argued Experian was obliged under the Fair Credit Reporting act to make credit files which are as accurate as possible and do not include any adverse information that may be obsolete.
Preliminary approval of a settlement was granted by a court shortly after discovery in November with a nationwide settlement Class certified at that time, according to Law360. Injunctive relief was approved in April, meanwhile, along with the rest of the issues being negotiated up until the two deals reached on Thursday, reports Law360. A jury trial began in July for a complaint alleging Experian falsely reported that a Florida resident was delinquent on his mortgage payments and then passed off the investigations to a separate company.
The Experian Credit Reporting Class Action Lawsuit is Hill-Green v Experian Information Solutions Inc, Case No. 3: 19-cv-00708 in the U.S District Court for the Eastern Distict of Virginia.
How Does the FCRA Help Consumers?
The FCRA helps protect you by regulating how information in your consumer report can be used and accessed. Here's an overview of the key aspects of the law.
The FCRA gives you the right to be told if information in your credit file is used against you to deny your application for credit, employment or insurance.
The FCRA also gives you the right to request and access all the information a consumer reporting agency has about you (this is called "file disclosure"). You can get one free file disclosure every 12 months from each national credit bureau by going to AnnualCreditReport.com.
The FCRA gives you access to your credit report but restricts others' access. In general, access is limited to people with a "permissible purpose," such as landlords, creditors and insurance companies. If an employer wants to see your credit report, you must give written consent; employers must meet other requirements as well, and not all states allow employers to pull credit reports as part of an applicant's background check.
If you find what you believe to be inaccurate or incomplete information on your credit report, you have the right to dispute it. The credit bureau will then contact the data furnisher to confirm whether the information is correct. If it's not, the credit bureau will either correct it or remove it within a certain time period. Accurate negative information, such as bankruptcies and late payments, will be removed after a certain time period.
The FCRA gives you the option to opt out of the pre-screened offers of credit you receive.
Finally, the FCRA gives you the ability to put a security freeze on your credit report, which ensures that potential lenders cannot check your credit report without you first lifting the freeze or providing the specific lender with a one-time PIN to access your credit report.
See a more detailed summary of the FCRA below or visit consumerfinance.gov/learnmore/ for more information. Keep in mind that in addition to the FCRA laws, some states have their own laws regulating consumer credit reporting; you'll find that information below under "Notification of Rights."
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