Woman Wins $18.6 Million Over Equifax Credit Report Errors

by Sonya Smith-Valentine

There’s major consumer victory news from Oregon: a woman who discovered huge errors in her Equifax credit report and couldn’t get them fixed was awarded a total of $18.6 million in damages. She contacted Equifax eight times about the errors between 2009 and 2011, but they remained on her report.

The bad information included incorrect name and Social Security number information on her record, as well as debts that didn’t belong to her. She was unable to obtain credit while trying to help her disabled brother, and learned about the errors when she was turned down for a loan in 2009. Her legal complaint details the eight times she tried to straighten the problems out, and Equifax just sort of shrugged.

“There was damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy and the lost opportunity to seek credit,” her attorney explained. It didn’t happen to this woman, but credit report errors can even cost people employment opportunities.

While consumers are entitled to one free credit report from each bureau every year, the Big Three are also supposed to provide copies to consumers after they’re denied credit. Equifax failed to do so in this case.

A jury awarded her $18.4 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in compensatory damages.

 

Guest Post by Laura Northrup – www.Consumerist.com

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