Woman Sues Equifax: Credit Company Practices Investigated

Credit data for 2 Julie Millers mixed
By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
July 30, 2013 9:59 am Last Updated: July 30, 2013 11:14 am

Woman sues Equifax, awarded $18.6 million: Julie Miller of Oregon tried for two years to correct false information on her credit records at Equifax that prevented her from helping her disabled brother and hurt her reputation, she says.

Her attorney, Justin Baxter, told Oregon Live: “There was damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy and the lost opportunity to seek credit. … She has a brother who is disabled and who can’t get credit on his own and she wasn’t able to help him.”

Miller’s information was mixed up with another woman by the name of Julie Miller in Oregon who had collection attempts on her record. Miller’s information was also given out to entities seeking the other woman’s credit records—thus the “breach of privacy.”

Her information was not only incorrect in Equifax’s records, but also in the records of the two other major credit companies, Experian and Transunion, Baxter told the Atlantic Journal-Constitution (AJC) on Monday.

Shawn Conroy, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection, told AJC the state is investigating the practices of all three credit companies, though he did not provide details.

The Federal Trade Commission published a report in February based on a study of 1,001 consumers who reviewed 2,968 of their credit reports. The FTC found one in four consumers had errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores. It found that five percent of consumers had errors on their credit reports that could cause them to pay more for insurance and more on loans.

“These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics, in the report.  “The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly.  If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”