DEBT RELIEF LAW CENTER
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Equifax Information Services LLC is a limited liability company organized, existing, and doing business under the laws of the State of Georgia. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equifax Inc. and has its principal place of business at 1550 Peachtree Street, N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30309. Equifax is a “consumer reporting agency” (“CRA”) as that term is defined in section 603(f) of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(f).
It was alleged by the Federal Trade Commission that Equifax sold “prescreened lists,” which were lists of consumers that meet certain preselected criteria such as consumers who were, among other things, 30, 60, or 90 days late on their mortgage payments. Such prescreened lists were “consumer reports” as defined in section 603(d) of the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(d). Information such as whether a consumer is 30, 60, or 90 days late on a mortgage payment bears on, among other things, a consumer’s credit worthiness and credit standing and is used or expected to be used as a factor in determining a consumer’s eligibility for credit. According to the FTC, From January 1, 2008 through early 2010, Equifax sold prescreened lists containing the consumer report information of millions of consumers to Direct Lending Source, Inc. or its affiliates, Bailey & Associates Advertising, Inc. and Virtual Lending Source, LLC (collectively “Direct Lending”). These lists included, among other things, consumers’ credit scores and whether they were 30, 60, or 90 days late on their mortgage payments. In many instances, Direct Lending did not have a permissible purpose to obtain consumer reports under the FCRA but rather, Direct Lending used and sold these lists for the purpose of marketing products and services to consumers in financial distress. Direct Lending sold the prescreened lists it obtained from Equifax to third parties, many of which did not have a permissible purpose to receive them under the FCRA. For example, it sold lists to marketers for the purpose of targeting consumers in financial distress for loan modification, debt relief, and foreclosure relief services. Equifax did not maintain reasonable procedures to limit the furnishing of the prescreened lists it sold to Direct Lending so that prescreened lists would only be used for a permissible purpose. Equifax failed to investigate promptly or fully on certain occasions when it learned that Direct Lending was violating Equifax’s internal policies relating to prescreening. Moreover, Equifax knew or should have known that in multiple instances Direct Lending resold the prescreened lists without identifying the end user to Equifax. Given Direct Lending’s failures, Equifax had reason to believe that the entities to whom its prescreened lists were being sold did not have a permissible purpose for obtaining the lists. Nonetheless, Equifax continued to sell prescreened lists to Direct Lending. Equifax provided prescreened lists to Direct Lending through an online portal. Equifax also provided access to the portal to third parties in connection with Direct Lending’s prescreening operations. Equifax did not make reasonable efforts to verify the identity of these entities, and accordingly could not ensure that these entities would only use the lists for a permissible purpose.
Lastly, the FTC alleged that Equifax’s failure to employ reasonable and appropriate measures to control access to the sensitive consumer financial information it maintains and sells for prescreening services resulted in prescreened lists being sold to a number of entities that were ultimately the subject of actions or warnings by law enforcement. Equifax’s lack of reasonable procedures caused or is likely to cause substantial consumer injury that is not reasonably avoidable by consumers and is not outweighed by benefits to consumers or competition.
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Orlando Consumer Rights Lawyer - providing aggressive and affordable professional services to consumers who have been victims of debt collection harassment by debt collectors and auto fraud, to residents in Orlando, Kissimmee, and throughout the Central Florida Area.