Consumers are used to Equifax scrutinizing their credit activity and using the information to generate credit reports and credit scores that impact so much of their lives—from the interest rates credit card companies charge to the ability to get a job. And studies by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that, unfortunately, many consumers are also accustomed to Equifax getting information wrong. But now the shoe is on the other foot:
The CFPB is investigating Equifax, examining its records to see if it is Equifax is complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a federal law that mandates how credit bureaus collect and maintain their data.
Equifax Filings Illuminate Ongoing Investigation
According to Bloomberg News, Equifax revealed, in its most recent Form 10-Q report to investors, that, in July 2023, the CFPB had sent the credit bureau a civil investigative demand (CID), asking Equifax to produce information that relates to whether it is complying with FCRA’s requirements for handling of consumer disputes. Notably, this is the third CID Equifax has received from the CFPB.
Equifax had previously disclosed that the CFPB had issued its first CID in December 2021. In that earlier CID, the CFPB sought information on whether Equifax was following the FCRA requirements for handling consumer disputes. The CFPB then sent a second CID in January 2023, relating to Equifax’s problem with calculating credit scores following a migration to new computer servers.
And in July 2023, the CFPB sent this third CID, requesting information relating to Equifax’s Workforce Solutions business unit. The largest of Equifax’s business segments, Workforce Solutions, is the branch of Equifax that supplies verification data to employers—such as employment histories, licensure status, and other information. It also provides companies with ongoing services relating to payroll, security screenings, taxes, immigration, and other compliance issues.
While Equifax hasn’t identified the information it must produce, it’s likely to pertain to how Equifax responds to consumer complaints regarding errors on credit reports, mixed files, and other issues.
What Does This Mean for Equifax and Consumers?
While we don’t know the possible allegations against Equifax, it’s noteworthy that the CFPB has already issued recommendations to the national credit bureaus regarding changes to the administration of credit information. So the investigation suggests the CFPB may want to file a federal lawsuit against Equifax, which could result in structural changes in Equifax’s practices depending on its outcome. And it could even result in compensation for impacted consumers.
While this is an important development, the reality is that any redress from a CFPB investigation would be years away.
That is why, if you have had any issues with Equifax or the other national credit bureaus relating to errors on your credit report, don’t wait. Contact an attorney who specializes in representing clients like you. The Credit Report Law Group can not only help you correct your credit record, but the firm can also help you obtain compensation for any damages you have sustained.