mixed credit files

Mixed Credit Reports Explained

Mixed Credit Reports Explained

What is a Mixed Credit Report?

A mixed credit report is the result of a credit reporting agency’s inaccurate merging of credit information and/or an entire credit file belonging to one consumer into the credit file of another consumer.

The credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, collect information about you and store it in their databases. They each have hundreds of millions of bits of raw data in their databases and the bits are used to create credit files and consumer disclosures (more commonly known as credit reports).

A credit file is the name used to describe all the information a credit reporting agency has about a consumer. Credit files are created as the result of a query posted to the credit reporting agencies database. The courts and the Federal Trade Commission define the term ‘credit file’ to include anything that might be included in a consumer report prepared about a consumer.

Experian Sued for Mixing the Credit Files of People Who Share the Same Name

Experian Sued for Mixing the Credit Files of People Who Share the Same Name

A federal lawsuit has been filed against Experian in the United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, for merging the credit file of one individual with the credit file of another who share the same first and last name.

While applying for a mortgage, the plaintiff in the above mentioned case discovered that Experian had included no less than twenty-three (23) tradelines (bits of credit information) which did not belong to her on the credit report used to determine her credit worthiness. After being denied the loan, the plaintiff obtained her credit file from Experian. She then contacted an Experian representative by phone to dispute the inaccurate tradelines. The Experian representative confirmed that the tradelines in question belonged to another consumer and promised to have them removed from her credit file.

However, the information contained within the credit reports which Experian provided to the loan officer, is different than the information contained within the consumer report the plaintiff received when she requested her credit report from Experian. This is not uncommon. Rather it’s standard procedure.

Recent Cases Addressing Reseller Liability

Resellers are consumer reporting agencies who purchase consumer credit information from Trans Union, Equifax and Experian and then resell that information. Often resellers combine all three credit files into one report - commonly known as a “tri-merge” credit report. Recent court opinions have addressed whether these resellers are liable under Section 1681e(b) if one agency reports inaccurate information but the other two do not and the reseller subsequently reports all three files.

$18. 6 Million Verdict Against Equifax for Not Fixing a Mixed Credit Report

Equifax Slammed with $18.6 Million Jury Verdict for Violations of the FCRA

A federal jury recently awarded Julie Miller of Oregon with $18.6 Million.

In 2009, Julie Miller applied for credit and was denied. The denial was a result of credit information belonging to a different Julie Miller being mixed with the credit report of the applicant. The inaccuracies consisted of:

  • Wrong Social Security Number
  • Wrong birth date
  • Accounts that were not hers; and
  • Erroneous collection accounts.

The mixed credit report resulted in a lost opportunity to obtain credit.

Class Action Against Green Tree Challenging Accuracy of Joint Account Holder Bankruptcy Credit Reporting

Lawsuit Filed Against Green Tree for Reporting a False Bankruptcy

June 7, 2013

Today, Cento Law, LLC attorney G. John Cento filed a class action lawsuit against Green Tree Servicing, LLC alleging numerous violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the suit, Plaintiff alleges Green Tree inaccurately reported his mortgage account to the consumer reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and/or Trans Union) that he had included his mortgage in bankruptcy even though Plaintiff had never filed bankruptcy.

Mixed Credit Files - The Case of Angela Williams

Angela Williams filed a lawsuit against Equifax alleging that her Equifax credit report included more than two dozen negative accounts which did not belong on her credit report. The negative accounts actually belonged to another consumer named Angelina Williams. In addition to sharing almost identical names, Angela and Angelina also shared another important similarity - their social security numbers were almost identical except that the last two digits were reversed. Angela sent numerous disputes to Equifax trying to correct its reporting over a period of more than a decade. From time to time, Equifax would remove some of the inaccurate accounts from her credit file but those accounts would later appear in other versions of her credit report. Often times, when Angela would request a copy of her credit report, Equifax would return only incomplete credit reports since Equifax's database had created many different credit files for Angela; sometimes those files were put together into one report and sometimes they were not. As a result of this inaccurate reporting, Angela alleged she was repeatedly denied credit. In November 2007, Angela's case made its way to a Florida jury who entered a verdict in her favor and against Equifax for $219,000 in actual damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages.

Connecticut Complaint Against Trans Union For Mixing Credit Files

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.