WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) —
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Jan. 3 that it took
action against Equifax Inc., TransUnion and other subsidiaries for allegedly
deceiving consumers about the cost and usefulness of the credit scores it sold.
According to the CFPB, the
companies also convinced consumers to sign up for expensive, recurring monthly
payments by delivering false promises.
“TransUnion and Equifax
deceived consumers about the usefulness of the credit scores they marketed, and
lured consumers into expensive recurring payments with false promises,” CFPB
Director Richard Cordray said. “Credit scores are central to a consumer’s
financial life and people deserve honest and accurate information about them.”
The CFPB has ordered the two
companies to pay more than $23.1 million in penalties, including
$17.6 million in consumer restitution and $5.5 million in CFPB fines. The
companies must also make changes to their business practices so as to no longer
misrepresent the value of the credit scores they provide. Additionally, before
enrolling consumers in credit-related services with a negative option feature,
the companies need to obtain the consumers’ express informed consent.