HONOLULU – The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ (DCCA) Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) along with 30 state attorneys general today announced a major settlement with the three national credit reporting agencies – Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc., and TransUnion LLC.
Under the settlement, the credit reporting agencies have agreed to pay the participating states $6 million and make a number of changes to their business practices to benefit consumers. Of this amount, Hawaii will receive almost $100,000, which will be used for the enforcement of consumer protection laws in Hawaii.
A violation of the settlement by any of the credit reporting agencies may be enforced by the states according to state law.
“This settlement makes the credit reporting agencies much more accountable to consumers who raise concerns regarding inaccuracies or errors contained in their credit reports,” said OCP Executive Director Stephen Levins.
The investigation focused on consumer disputes about credit report errors, monitoring and disciplining data furnishers (providers of credit reporting information), accuracy in consumer credit reports, and the marketing of credit monitoring products to consumers who call the credit reporting agencies to dispute information on their credit report.
Under the settlement, the credit reporting agencies have agreed to increase monitoring of data furnishers, to require additional information from furnishers of certain types of data, to limit direct-to-consumer marketing, to provide greater protections for consumers who dispute information on their credit reports, to limit certain information that can be added to a credit report, to provide additional consumer education, and to comply with state and federal laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Key provisions of the settlement include:
Higher standards for data furnishers:
Limits to direct-to-consumer marketing:
Added protections for consumers who dispute credit reporting information:
Limits to certain information that can be added to a consumer’s credit report:
Additional consumer education:
The changes required under the settlement will be implemented in three phases to allow the credit reporting agencies to update their IT systems and procedures with data furnishers. All changes must be completed by three years and 90 days following the settlement’s effective date.
Besides Hawaii, participating in the settlement are the states of: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
OCP Enforcement Attorney Landon M. M. Murata represented the state in this case.
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Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Phone: (808) 586-7582
Mobile: (808) 286-9626