Equifax will pay $65,000 to settle allegations it waited too long to freeze consumers’ credit reports.  Indiana law requires credit reporting agencies ban new creditors from accessing credit reports within five business days after a consumers’ request. But Equifax didn’t do that for 19 consumers, including one who had to wait about two months, Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter said.

Indiana enacted its credit-freeze law in 2007 to help consumers guard against identity theft.  Under the law, consumers may mail letters to each of the three credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and Trans Union — and demand new creditors be banned for accessing their credit reports. That means an identity thief would be unable to take out new credit in a consumer’s name, even with an accurate Social Security number.

The state also requires the agencies to notify Indiana consumers within 10 business days that their credit reports have been frozen. However, Equifax failed to do that for 24 people, including one whose notification was delayed for six months, Carter said.   Source: The Indianapolis Star

BIIA Newsletter November 2008 Issue