The lending industry has many different types of credit scores on the market today. Many different vendors have created them, such as Fair Isaac, the three national repositories, credit grantors, and insurance companies.
G. John Cento began his career as an attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Katz & Korin, P.C., where he worked with Robert Schuckit. Trans Union was a client first of Schuckit, and then Katz & Korin when Schuckit joined the firm. Cento began representing Trans Union in 2001, and between 2003 and 2005 worked almost exclusively on Trans Union cases. Schuckit then left Katz & Korin in June 2005 to form his own law firm. Cento followed, but he stayed with Schuckit’s new firm for just a month.
Yesterday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in our favor and against Trans Union's efforts to block us from representing a consumer in a mixed file credit reporting case. Here is a link to the full opinion in Watkins v. Trans Union. In the coming days, we will be posting additional information about that opinion and the six year long saga which lead to this moment. For now, we are very pleased with the majority opinion.
Plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed against Equifax in Virginia has successfully obtained class certification of her claims. The lawsuit alleges that Equifax misreported the status of certain state court judgments. The certified class consists of consumers who told Equifax of a disposed state court judgment before Equifax published an inaccurate report between February 2008 and February 2013.
What is a Consumer Reporting Agency?
The term "consumer reporting agencies" is a statutory term defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the "FCRA"). Consumer reporting agencies are often referred to as "credit bureaus" or "credit reporting agencies." Under the FCRA, a consumer reporting agency is a company that collects information and provide reports on consumers that are most often used to decide whether to provide consumers credit, insurance or employment. The following is a list of companies that identify themselves as consumer reporting agencies:
National Consumer Reporting Agencies
- Trans Union
What should you do if you learn that your credit report has errors? You can either contact us about how to proceed or send a dispute to the consumer reporting agency (CRA) on your own. There are several ways to initiate the dispute process with the CRAs, including using the dispute form which you may have received when you ordered your credit report; using the CRAs online dispute form; sending a dispute letter by mail (certified mail is recommended but not required); or by telephone. Whichever method you choose, you should remember to keep an accurate record of your dispute, including a copy of your dispute form or letter. If you use the online dispute form, you should take a screen shot of your dispute before sending it.
Consumer reporting agencies (commonly known as "credit reporting agencies" or "credit bureaus") provide consumer reports (commonly known as "credit reports") to subscribers who use the information to make credit granting decisions. In order to obtain a consumer report, the agencies require their subscribers (i.e. banks, department stores, insurance companies and others) to furnish the name and address for the person on whom they are inquiring. Some agencies, such as Trans Union, also encourage subscribers to provide a consumer's social security number as well. At any given time, the national consumer reporting agencies maintain hundreds of millions of "credit files" in their databases. A credit file contains indicative information (such as name, address, former address, social security number and other information) and individual trade lines (such as account number, credit terms, payment history and other items) belonging to the consumer. These files relate to the credit active consumers across the United States of which there are approximately 250 million, meaning that many consumers have more than one file in a consumer reporting agency's system.
On August 1, 2011, Ralph C. Neclerio, Jr., a resident of Connecticut, filed suit against Trans Union, LLC alleging that Trans Union has been mixing Neclerio's credit file with his father's credit file since at least 1999. Neclerio is represented by attorney Ian Lyngklip. In particular, Neclerio's Complaint alleges that:
- This case arises as a result of the continued refusal of Trans Union to resolve the persistent appearance of credit data concerning Mr. Neclerio’s father – also named Ralph Neclerio – on Mr. Neclerio’s consumer reports.
In 2005, a Trans Union ("TU") representative testified as follows regarding TU's procedures to conduct reinvestigations when a consumer disputes inaccurate information on their credit report: In general, when TU receives a dispute from a consumer, TU investigates the dispute using one of two systems developed for the purpose of processing and tracking disputes: the mail Consumer Dispute Verification process (“CDV”) and; the electronic Automated Consumer Dispute Verification process (“ACDV”) utilized in the instant matter.
In general, when Trans Union receives a dispute from a consumer, Trans Union investigates the dispute using one of two systems developed for the purpose of processing and tracking disputes, the Consumer Dispute Verification process (“CDV”) and the Automated Consumer Dispute Verification process (“ACDV”). Through the ACDV process, Trans Union contacts the furnisher of the disputed credit information and, via an automated process, asks the furnisher to verify that the indicative (e.g., name, social security number, address, date of birth, etc.) information on the consumer matches the indicative information maintained in the furnisher’s records and is associated with the particular account being disputed. Trans Union also asks the furnisher to verify the accuracy of the account information, e.g. account balance, payment history, credit limit, etc., being reported to Trans Union by the furnisher.
If the furnisher verifies that the reported information is correct, Trans Union updates the information on the consumer's credit file and notifies the consumer of that fact. If the furnisher reports that the information is inaccurate or can no longer be verified, or if the creditor does not respond within the required time, Trans Union deletes the information from the consumer's credit file and notifies the consumer that the information has been deleted. Trans Union may employ additional procedures depending on the precise dispute involved and the circumstances of the case.