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What You Should Know About Equifax
Equifax Inc. is a consumer credit reporting agency in the United States, considered one of the three largest American credit agencies along with Experian and TransUnion. Founded in 1899, Equifax is the oldest of the three agencies and gathers and maintains information on over 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax is a global service provider with US $2.7 billion in annual revenue and 7,000+ employees in 14 countries. Equifax is listed on the NYSE.
The company has been fined by the Federal Trade Commission on two occasions for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In 2000, Equifax, along with Experian and TransUnion, was fined $2.5 million for blocking and delaying phone calls from consumers trying to get information about their credit. In 2003, the FTC took Equifax to court for the same reason and settled its lawsuit with the company for a fine of $250,000.
In July 2013, a federal jury in Oregon awarded $18.6 million to Julie Miller of Marion County against Equifax for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In her lawsuit, Miller alleged Equifax had merged her credit reports with another person with a different Social Security number, date of birth, and address. Miller contacted Equifax repeatedly in writing and over the telephone, but Equifax refused to delete dozens of false collection accounts from Miller’s credit report. The award included $18.4 million in punitive damages, and $180,000 in compensatory damages. Miller’s lawyer, Justin Baxter, explained that the false reporting damaged Miller's reputation, she was denied credit, and her private information was given to businesses Miller had no relationship with. The jury’s verdict is believed to be the largest award in an individual case under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. An Equifax spokesperson said that Equifax is considering appealing the jury’s verdict. A judge reduced the award to $1.62 million in 2014.
In 2014, Equifax and Heartland Bank are being sued by Kimberly Haman of the St. Louis-area for reporting she was dead. A Heartland Bank spokesperson said the bank "immediately investigated and contacted the credit reporting agencies after Haman reported" she was still alive. An Equifax "spokesperson told the Post-Dispatch that Equifax blocked the Heartland account information from appearing on Haman’s credit report after a reporter’s inquiry."
In April 2014, Equifax was sued in New York federal court by God Gazarov, who claimed the company erroneously reports him as having no credit history because of his unusual first name
Information Provided By Wikipedia