By Erik Larson
Equifax Inc., the second-biggest global credit bureau, was hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit after a report that it provided inaccurate credit scores on millions of US consumers looking for loans.
The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Atlanta, alleges violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. It seeks financial damages and a court order requiring Equifax to notify all customers who were impacted by the score-reporting glitch, which the Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 2.
“We believe that many of the people impacted — some of whom may still be unaware of what happened — suffered severe financial consequences,” John Morgan and John Yanchunis, the attorneys who filed the suit, said a statement.
Erroneous scores were sent from mid-March through early April, and disclosures of the errors began in May, the Wall Street Journal reported. Equifax blamed a computer error that has since been rectified.
Equifax, in a statement Thursday, said the three-week “technology coding issue” was fixed on April 6. The company said its analysis showed that during that period there was “no shift in the majority of scores” for consumers seeking credit.
“For those consumers that did experience a score shift, initial analysis indicates that only a small number of them may have received a different credit decision,” according to the statement. “While the score may have shifted, a score shift does not necessarily mean that a consumer’s credit decision was negatively impacted.”
The lead plaintiff in the suit is a Florida woman who alleges she was forced to take a less-favorable auto loan in April as a result of an inaccurate credit score. The suit claims she’s now paying about $150 a month extra.
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Nathan Dean reported the fallout from the glitch may be limited.
The case is Nydia Jenkins v. Equifax, 1:22-cv-03072, US District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta).
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