The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission yesterday announced a settlement with TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, a unit of TransUnion, that will see the company pay $15 million after it was accused violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening reports and withheld from renters the names of third parties that were providing the inaccurate information. In a separate matter, the CFPB fined TransUnion $8 million for failing to remove security freezes and locks on consumers’ credit reports in a timely manner.
A copy of the proposed stipulated final judgment and order can be accessed by clicking here. A copy of the complaint can be accessed by clicking here. A copy of the consent order against TranUnion can be accessed by clicking here.
With respect to the FCRA violations, the company was accused of failing to show that evictions had been dismissed and not preventing the inclusion of sealed records or multiple entries about the same eviction case — factors that weigh heavily in deciding a consumer’s rental risk. By not providing information to consumers about where the data was coming from, the company was preventing consumers from knowing whom to contact to get data corrected, the CFPB determined.
A federal judge must still approve the settlement. If approved, the company will pay $11 million back to consumers, pay a fine of $4 million, and stop any illegal tenant screen practices.
With respect to failing to honor security freeze and lock requests, TransUnion has had a backlog of thousands of requests going back as far as 2018, according to the CFPB. TransUnion purportedly cleared the backlog only after it was notified by the Bureau that an examination of security freezes was going to be conducted. The CFPB accused TransUnion of:
- Failing to timely place or remove security freezes and locks: For tens of thousands of individuals, since at least 2003, the company failed to timely place or remove security freezes and locks on tens of thousands of credit reports. Despite these failures, TransUnion falsely represented to consumers that their requests were processed when they were not.
- Failing to protect certain populations from pre-screened solicitation lists: TransUnion unlawfully failed to exclude thousands of individuals, including active-duty members of the military and other potential victims of identity theft, from pre-screened solicitation lists.
The company will pay $3 million back to consumers, pay a fine of $5 million, and make the necessary changes to its business practices.