FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Against Equifax Information Services LLC
Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Equifax Information Services, LLC violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by improperly selling lists of millions of consumers who were late on their mortgages.
In settling the FTC’s complaint, Equifax agreed to pay its full $392,803 gross revenues as disgorgement of its ill-gotten gain from the conduct challenged by the Commission’s complaint. The order also prohibits Equifax from 1) furnishing prescreened lists to anyone that it does not have reason to believe has a permissible purpose to receive them; 2) failing to maintain reasonable procedures designed to limit the furnishing of prescreened lists to anyone except those who have a permissible purpose to receive them; and 3) selling prescreened lists in connection with offers for debt relief products or services and mortgage assistance relief products and services, when advance fees are charged, with limited exceptions.
The Law Office of Robert W. Murphy litigates claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act for clients who have had their credit reports impermissibly accessed by businesses. It is unlawful for businesses to obtain a person’s credit report unless the business has a permissible purpose for obtaining a report. Many businesses access credit reports without such a purpose in order to sell products and services to consumers. In addition to being an invasion of privacy, such conduct may be a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.