Thursday, March 23, 2017

CFPB fines Experian $3M

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action today against Experian and its subsidiaries for deceiving consumers about the use of credit scores it sold to consumers. Experian claimed the credit scores it marketed and provided to consumers were used by lenders to make credit decisions. In fact, lenders did not use Experian’s scores to make those decisions. The CFPB ordered Experian to truthfully represent how its credit scores are used. Experian must also pay a civil penalty of $3 million.

“Experian deceived consumers over how the credit scores it marketed and sold were used by lenders,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Consumers deserve and should expect honest and accurate information about their credit scores, which are central to their financial lives.”

Enforcement Action

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB is authorized to take action against institutions engaged in unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, or that otherwise violate federal consumer financial laws. Under the consent order, Experian must:

  • Pay a $3 million penalty: Experian must pay a civil money penalty of $3 million to the Bureau’s Civil Penalty Fund.
  • Truthfully represent the usefulness of credit scores it sells: Experian must inform consumers about the nature of the scores it sells to consumers.
  • Put in place an effective compliance management system: Experian must develop and implement a plan to make sure its advertising practices relating to credit scores and on Internet webpages that consumers access through AnnualCreditReport.com comply with federal consumer laws and the terms of the CFPB’s consent order.

The full text of the CFPB’s Consent Order against Experian is available here: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201703_cfpb_Experian-Holdings-Inc-consent-order.pdf

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