This is part three of a four-part series that looks at how inaccurate credit reporting is being fought by a attorneys, the CFPB, and state AGs. You may read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
Class Action Lawsuit Results in Record Penalty Against Transunion: Last week, a jury found the Big 3 credit bureau Transunion guilty of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and harming a class of over 8,000 consumers. The jury imposed statutory damages and additional punitive damages, due to the willful nature of the violation, totaling $60 Million. Transunion mixed the names of ordinary consumers up with those of terrorists and drug traffickers with similar names on the U.S. Treasury Department’s very-scary-to-be-on Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) database. It allegedly failed to adequately match birthdates or Social Security Numbers. And, it had been caught doing the same thing years before. In its failed defense, Transunion claimed the consumers did not suffer financial harm, so let it go. But privacy laws protect you from reputational harms as well; your good name has real value and loss of your good name has a real cost. The authoritative National Consumer Law Center also points out that the case points to the need to protect the use of class action remedies, which have long been under attack.