FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Against Equifax Information Services LLC

For Your Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Equifax Information Services LLC violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by improperly selling lists of millions of consumers who were late on their mortgages. 

In settling the FTC’s complaint, Equifax agreed to pay its full $392,803 gross revenues as disgorgement of its ill-gotten gain from the conduct challenged by the Commission’s complaint.  The order also prohibits Equifax from 1) furnishing prescreened lists to anyone that it does not have reason to believe has a permissible purpose to receive them; 2) failing to maintain reasonable procedures designed to limit the furnishing of prescreened lists to anyone except those who have a permissible purpose to receive them; and 3) selling prescreened lists in connection with offers for debt relief products or services and mortgage assistance relief products and services, when advance fees are charged, with limited exceptions.

The Commission vote approving the final order and letters to members of the public who commented on it was 3-0-2, with Commissioner Joshua D. Wright and former Chairman Jon Leibowitz not participating.  (FTC File No. 102-3252; the staff contact is Katherine Armstrong, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3250; see press release dated October 10, 2012.)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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