Want Credit Monitoring from TransUnion? Think Again

Credit reporting agency in court for repeatedly using deceptive practices

Andy Spears

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Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash

TransUnion — the credit reporting agency — is facing some trouble because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says the company not only used deceptive practices to lure in customers to some of its credit monitoring products, but also because the company continued to engage in such practices even after a 2017 consent order.

American Banker notes:

But the Chicago-based credit reporting agency is fighting back in court after the CFPB sued the company and a former executive in April for allegedly violating a previous 2017 order.

The lawsuit is being closely watched because TransUnion already paid a $3 million fine and $13.9 million in restitution to consumers to resolve the 2017 order — only to be sued for the same violations five years later.

Here’s the deal, though: They didn’t stop deceiving customers. TransUnion’s argument seems to be that they already paid a fine for deceiving customers, now they can’t be punished again for repeat deception.

However, as American Banker reported, the CFPB didn’t stop receiving complaints about TransUnion:

By 2019, however, the CFPB had received nearly 100 complaints from consumers alleging that TransUnion enrolled them in monthly credit monitoring services they didn’t want. Many of the consumers said they had responded to ads to obtain a free credit score but had not read the fine print disclosing that they were enrolling in a monitoring service.

And Law 360 says a federal judge in Chicago sided with the CFPB and is allowing the case to go forward:

A Chicago federal judge ruled Friday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can proceed with its lawsuit accusing TransUnion and a former executive of violating a prior marketing practices consent order, rejecting dismissal bids that included a…

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .