An Alabama man has been awarded $3 million by a jury after finding Experian Information Solutions guilty of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not investigating a debt on the man’s credit report.
The man — Shaun Younger — noticed a debt that did not belong to him on his credit report and sent Experian a letter, with proof the debt was not his, according to a published report. Experian refused to investigate because it deemed Younger’s letter to be suspicious. Under the FCRA, furnishers are not required to investigate disputes if the dispute is made by someone other than the individual whose credit report is being disputed. According to the report, the mail room at Experian has between 10 and 14 people whose job it is to determine whether dispute letters are suspicious or not. The credit bureau receives between 3,000 and 10,000 dispute letters per day, it said.
According to the report: Experian has a policy if five or more letters look similar, the mail room determines all the letters are suspicious and will not investigate any of the disputes.
“Experian put in place an illegal ‘suspicious mail’ policy designed to save Experian money at the expense of American consumers like Mr. Younger,” said W. Whitney Seals, one of Younger’s attorneys. “We are very encouraged that this jury, after hearing the evidence, saw Experian’s policy for what it really was.”