FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Against Equifax Information Services LLC

As posted on March 15, 2013 on www.ftc.gov

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Equifax Information Services LLC violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by improperly selling lists of millions of consumers who were late on their mortgages. 

In settling the FTC’s complaint, Equifax agreed to pay its full $392,803 gross revenues as disgorgement of its ill-gotten gain from the conduct challenged by the Commission’s complaint.  The order also prohibits Equifax from 1) furnishing prescreened lists to anyone that it does not have reason to believe has a permissible purpose to receive them; 2) failing to maintain reasonable procedures designed to limit the furnishing of prescreened lists to anyone except those who have a permissible purpose to receive them; and 3) selling prescreened lists in connection with offers for debt relief products or services and mortgage assistance relief products and services, when advance fees are charged, with limited exceptions.

The Commission vote approving the final order and letters to members of the public who commented on it was 3-0-2, with Commissioner Joshua D. Wright and former Chairman Jon Leibowitz not participating.  (FTC File No. 102-3252; the staff contact is Katherine Armstrong, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3250; see press release dated October 10, 2012.)