People Come First At Our Consumer Rights Law Firm

Equifax Ordered to Pay $18 Million in Damages

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2013 | Consumer Protection

Like many other consumers, Oregon resident Julie Miller (“Miller”) had errors on her credit report. Like many other consumers, Miller disputed the errors on her report on multiple occasions. Like many other consumers, despite Miller’s attempts to fix her report, Equifax would not listen to her request and verified the information as accurately reported. Like many consumers, Miller took her frustrations to court and but unlike many consumers, Miller was awarded $18.6 Million in damages against Equifax in a tiresome battle this past week.

Specifically, in 2009 Miller requested a copy of her credit file from Equifax after she was denied credit for a bank loan. Upon receipt, Miller reviewed her credit report and after careful scrutiny, she believed her credit report included inaccurate information that was devastating to her credit worthiness. Miller’s report contained derogatory accounts, collection accounts and a Social Security number and birth date that did not belong to her. When Miller began her dispute process, Trans Union and Experian corrected the mistakes in response, however Equifax, in January of 2010, requested she provide additional identifying information prior to completing its investigation and Miller complied. In mid-January, Equifax responded to Miller’s dispute by verifying the account and personal identifying information as accurately reported. On nine separate occasions between January of 2010 and September of 2011, Miller continued to reach out to Equifax requesting it fix the errors on her report, however her attempts were futile. Each time, Equifax continued to send the same form letter requesting additional personal identifying information, on each occasion Miller provided the same requested information and in response, her credit report was verifying. During her dispute process, Miller was denied credit from Key Bank for a loan she was co-signing with her son based on information contained in her Equifax report.

In response to her efforts, Miller filed a lawsuit against Equifax and in 2013, was awarded an $18.6 million in punitive damages and $180,000 in actual damages for lost credit opportunities. While Miller took the necessary steps to be aware of her credit report after being denied credit, studies show that over 20% of American consumers have never even reviewed their credit report and one in five consumers have errors on their report. To avoid being categorized into this 20%, know your rights and access your credit report annually. Under the law, as a consumer you are entitled you to one free credit report a year at from each of the thre major credit reporting agencies and you are entitled to a free copy of your report when you are denied credit.

If you believe you have errors on your report and need assistance with your inaccuracies, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely free case review.