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Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B

New Contributor

Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B

 

 

I noticed several instances of fraud on my credit reoprts. So I searched the forum on how to handle the situation and was able to get alot of great information.

 

I did as follows :

 

1- I prepared an FTC Identity theft report.

 

2- Made a police report detailing the thefts.

 

3- Made copys of my identification - Passport, Passport card & drivers licence 

 

4- Made copys of each credit report higlighting all instances of fraud 

 

5- Drafted a letter to each of the credit bureau's explaining that I had been the victim of identity theft & listed all fraudulent accounts also stating that I had no knowledge of these accounts asking for a "block" of the information as per FCRA 605B the letters were signed and dated

 

6- Made copys of FCRA 605B

 

I then prepared 3 separate "packages" for Experian, Equifax & TransUnion

 

I mailed all 3 "packages" return recipt requested to each of the credit bureau's

 

The results are as follows:

 

Experian - deleted all instances of Identity theft from my credit report in a few days

 

TranUnion - sent me out a boilerplate letter denying the "block" with the explination being every reason from FCRA 605B  A-B-C to deny the block. It was basically a form letter. Oh and it was dated the exact same day they recived my Identity theft "package". They then went ahead and started investigations on all the accounts fowarding all the information that I sent them to all the furnishers of the fraudulent credit.

 

Experian- Handling it as a dispute 

 

I have called both Equifax & TransUnion several times all with no results. I have even emailed the several people in the executive offices of both Equifax & TransUnion again no results.

 

Now I know from reading this forum that my next step is to lodge a complaint with the CFPB for non compliance of FCRA 605B. But I have also read some posts that state this did not work. Now it is worth noting that I have recived mail from some of the companys requesting a copy of my police reort as well as FTC report so they can do their own internal investigation. Which is puzzling because both equifax and transunion have told me that ifo has ben fowarded to each of the creditors. 

 

My question here is does someone have a more affective way to go about this?

 

Because it seems like Equifax does not follow FCRA 605B at all and TransUnion sends out a form letter when confronted with fraud.

 

What is a normal person supposed to do when Equifax and TranUnion dont seem to want to foloow the rules clearly set forth by the FCRA

 

Any comments or assistance are welcome.

 

Thanks 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

Message 1 of 9
8 REPLIES
New Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605

UPDATE:

 

I just recived an email from a rep from Equifax Executive Office of Consumer Services.

 

It is in responce to one of the many emails I sent to various EO email addresses I found on the web .

 

I'll keep updating to let people know what seems to be working

Message 2 of 9
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605

If the CRA is not in compliance and the CFPB is not taking any admin action, the only remaining step is to initiate your own civil action.

The benefit is that you can assert willful, as opposed to only negiligent, noncompliance, which provides the consumer with both actual and punitive damages per FCRA 616.

Message 3 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605


@RobertEGwrote:

If the CRA is not in compliance and the CFPB is not taking any admin action, the only remaining step is to initiate your own civil action.

The benefit is that you can assert willful, as opposed to only negiligent, noncompliance, which provides the consumer with both actual and punitive damages per FCRA 616.


 I havent initiated a CFPB complaint yet.

 

I read some mixed reviews about the effectiveness.

 

As it stands now I will see how far I can get with the person assisting from Equifax Executive Office.

 

I will also try the same with TransUnion.

 

If that route does not work I will file a complaint separetly for both Equifax and TransUnion.

 

I have received some correspondence from a few of the fraudulent accounts credit grantors. 

 

So I went ahead and sent the letter below along with an FTC Identity Theft Report + FTC Notice to furnishers PDF 

 

This is the section dealing with Identity theft

 

Duties when ID Theft Occurs All furnishers must have in place reasonable procedures to respond to notifications from CRAs that information furnished is the result of identity theft, and to prevent refurnishing the information in the future. A furnisher may not furnish information that a consumer has identified as resulting from identity theft unless the furnisher subsequently knows or is informed by the consumer that the information is correct. Section 623(a)(6). If a furnisher learns that it has furnished inaccurate information due to identity theft, it must notify each consumer reporting agency of the correct information and must thereafter report only complete and accurate information. Section 623(a)(2). When any furnisher of information is notified pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 605B that a debt has resulted from identity theft, the furnisher may not sell, transfer, or place for collection the debt except in certain limited circumstances. Section 615(f).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

3/7/2018

John Smith

1234 harmony way

iceland NV 12345


Some Bank

Attn: Fraud Dept

P.O. Box 7890

Mason , OH 56789

 

RE: ACCOUNT # 6008-8953-6502-9551

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am a victim of identity theft. I recently learned that my personal information was used to open an account at your company. I did not open or authorize this account, and I therefore request that it be closed immediately. I also request that SYNCHRONY BANK absolve me of all charges on the account, and that you take all appropriate steps to remove information about this account from my credit files.

Enclosed is a copy of my Identity Theft Report supporting my position, and a copy of my credit report showing the fraudulent items related to your company that are the result of identity theft. Also enclosed is a copy of the FTC Notice to Furnishers of Information, which details your responsibilities as an information furnisher to credit reporting agencies (CRAs). As a furnisher, upon receipt of a consumer’s written request that encloses an Identity Theft Report, you are required to cease furnishing the information resulting from identity theft to any CRA.

The Notice also specifies your responsibilities when you receive notice from a CRA, under section 605B of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that information you provided to the CRA may be the result of identity theft. Those responsibilities include ceasing to provide the inaccurate information to any CRAs and ensuring that you do not attempt to sell or transfer the fraudulent debts to another party for collection.

Please investigate this matter, close the account and absolve me of all charges, take the steps required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and send me a letter explaining your findings and actions.

Sincerely,

 

 

Enclosures: 

 

Again I will post progress and effectivenes of all this in this post.

 

Thanks 

 

Message 4 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605

 

I spoke to a rep in the Equifax office of consumer affairs on Wed 

 

He gave me some more info than a regular rep would have but didnt help much past that.

 

To be honest from the tone of the conversation I belive Equifax is handling these Identity theft cases like this because people were trying to "game" the system using FCRA 605B. 

 

All the information concerning the theft was fowarded to the creditors on the fraudulent accounts. They have 30 days to respond or delete.

 

The best news I had today was that I reached out to a lawyer that will file suit against the credit bureau's for free. From what He's telling me they have a very good track record of winning these very same type's of cases without ever having to go to court. And the bureau's pay the legal fee's. I will keep everyone posted on my progress. 

 

 

Message 5 of 9
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B

If you have met the requirement of section 605B(a), which involves submitting a police report, a statement of the asserted identity theft, such as via an FTC fraud affidavit, and proof of identity, the CRA must block UNLESS they show one of the provisons of section 605B (c), which delineates the reasons why a CRA can decline to block.

I see no evidence that they have, for example, asserted you have made any material misrepresentatiion.

The burden is on them to show that your sworn statement in your police report contained a material misrepresentation befor they can legitimately decline to accept your sworn statement before law enforcement.

 

I see clear basis for violation of the decline provisions under section 605B(c), and further indication of willful noncompliance, which subjects them to actual and punitive damages, and legal fees pursuant to FCRA 616.

_________________

FCRA 605B (c) Authority to Decline or Rescind

  • In general. A consumer reporting agency may decline to block, or may rescind any block, of information relating to a consumer under this sec-tion, if the consumer reporting agency reasonably determines that –
    • the information was blocked in error or a block was requested by the consumer in error;
    • the information was blocked, or a block was requested by the consumer, on the basis of a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer relevant to the request to block; or
    • the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or money as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions.

 

Message 6 of 9
New Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B


@RobertEGwrote:

If you have met the requirement of section 605B(a), which involves submitting a police report, a statement of the asserted identity theft, such as via an FTC fraud affidavit, and proof of identity, the CRA must block UNLESS they show one of the provisons of section 605B (c), which delineates the reasons why a CRA can decline to block.

I see no evidence that they have, for example, asserted you have made any material misrepresentatiion.

The burden is on them to show that your sworn statement in your police report contained a material misrepresentation befor they can legitimately decline to accept your sworn statement before law enforcement.

 

I see clear basis for violation of the decline provisions under section 605B(c), and further indication of willful noncompliance, which subjects them to actual and punitive damages, and legal fees pursuant to FCRA 616.

_________________

FCRA 605B (c) Authority to Decline or Rescind

  • In general. A consumer reporting agency may decline to block, or may rescind any block, of information relating to a consumer under this sec-tion, if the consumer reporting agency reasonably determines that –
    • the information was blocked in error or a block was requested by the consumer in error;
    • the information was blocked, or a block was requested by the consumer, on the basis of a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer relevant to the request to block; or
    • the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or money as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions.

 


I have met all the requirements to execute a block. I was told from the rep in the EO that the information I sent in was complete but they decline to block the fraudulent accounts. Equifax mailed me a letter on Mar 12th explaining the refusal. I havent received it yet but i guarantee its a boilerplate letter. He said the info I provided was deemed "relevant information" and they initiated a reinvestigation of all the fraudulent accounts. They also fowarded over 100 pages to the creditors. I have no idea how because everything I sent was no where near that page count. It sounds to me that equifax just doesnt want to comply.

Message 7 of 9
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B

As clearly shown by the legislative history of the FCRA identity theft revisions, of which section 605B is the key provision, the purpose was to avoid any involvement of the furnisher or CRA in investigating the issue of asserted identity theft.  If the consumer is willing to make a sworn statement before law enforcement, which carries criminal penalties for knowingly false statements, then that assertion itself is adequate to block the information from the consumer's credit report.

 

The CRA can challenge the consumer's sworn statement if it has basis to show material representation of facts, but otherwise, they must block.  Conducting an investigation of the furnisher's reporting is not part of the identity theft blocking process, and is not basis for denying the block under section 605B.

 

Their action appears to thus be willful noncompliance with the statute, subjecting them to punitive damages and court/legal fess, per FCRA 616.

Message 8 of 9
Valued Member

Re: Equifax & TransUnion not removing accounts resulting from Identity theft as per FCRA 605B

Any update on this one? I have a family member with the same problem. 

 

Did filing a CFPB complaint move things along?

Message 9 of 9