On October 19, 2016, Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood announced that “the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies will overhaul their business practices and two of the agencies will offer Mississippians unlimited access to free credit reports over the next three years in order to resolve the Attorney General’s investigation into the agencies’ mistakes on credit reports and deceptive marketing activities.” The credit reporting agencies also agreed to pay the state $7.175 million in order to resolve these claims. The investigation into these credit reporting agencies stemmed from the AG’s office receiving a high number of complaints about errors on consumers’ credit reports, and consumers’ difficulty in correcting those errors. According to the AG, the credit reporting agencies “failed to update public records information when a civil judgment, for example, had been paid or dismissed.” The agencies also allegedly included “extinguished debts in credit reports for Mississippians.” Finally, some of the agencies allegedly engaged in deceptive marketing practices, purportedly by luring consumers into expensive monthly credit monitoring services by promising a $1 credit report or free credit score. In addition to providing the monetary settlement and free access to credit reports, the agencies are required to implement new monitoring procedures to ensure compliance with Mississippi law.
Blog Enforcement Watch October 20, 2016