The State of Mississippi has sued Experian alleging violations of the FCRA and its own state law. Among other problems, the Mississippi lawsuit said, Experian provides no straightforward way for consumers to correct erroneous blemishes affecting their credit. When consumers file a dispute, Experian reflexively finds in favor of the bank or debt collector that reported the debt, Mississippi said. And when consumers call to complain, the lawsuit said Experian employees attempt to sell consumers credit monitoring products of questionable value.
Experian turns its failures to maintain accurate credit reports and its refusal to investigate consumer disputes into business opportunities according to the Attorney General.
An AP story on the lawsuit also reports that the State of Ohio led by AG Mike DeWine has demanded records from Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax concerning their business practices. These actions are noteworthy since they are the first actions by state AGs against the credit reporting agencies.
The Mississippi complaint alleges that even simple errors in Experian files — such as a credit file that wrongly stated that a Mississippi resident described in the complaint as “Consumer 5″ was dead — can prove nearly impossible to fix. “At first, Consumer 5 and his wife thought it was funny,” the complaint said. But months later, his unsuccessful efforts to fix the error cost him the ability to purchase a truck at a favorable interest rate. In another example, a lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard was denied credit and forced to buy numerous credit monitoring services due to Experian’s failure to distinguish between his credit history and those of other people in his family.
The complaint also states, a fact well known to consumer attorneys, that when consumers dispute alleged inaccuracies in their credit reports Experian and the other agencies failed to conduct reasonable investigations concerning consumers’ disputes, instead, in many cases, failing to conduct any — let alone a reasonable — investigation of consumer disputes regarding their credit history or accounts.