The state of Mississippi sued credit reporting agency Experian accusing the firm of knowingly including erroneous data in millions of consumer credit profiles.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood originally filed the complaint against Experian Information Services in a state court last month, but the case was only moved to the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson last week. Specifically, Hood alleges that Experian’s failure to provide a straightforward way to correct a consumer’s credit report and their inclusion of incorrect information jeopardized the consumer’s ability to obtain loans and possibly cost them employment by creating false red flags on background checks and government security clearances.

Hood also accuses Experian of using customer complaints to sell subscriptions to credit monitoring services, stating in his complaint that Experian will either reflexively find in favor of the creditor when a consumer disputes a piece of information or direct the consumer to a monitoring product instead of addressing the discrepancy.

“Experian has turned its failures to maintain accurate credit reports and its refusal to investigate consumer disputes into a business opportunity,” Hood said in a statement. Experian, for its part, has stated that it believes the lawsuit is not based in fact and designed to be sensational, and the company will defend itself against Hood’s allegations.

The Experian case is Mississippi v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., and numbered 14-cv-00243.

Courtesy of Jacob Barron, CICP, NACM staff writer
(National Association of Credit Management)

BIIA Comment:  The consumer credit information industry has come a long way in improving its quality and complaint resolution programs.   It is often ignored that the data contained in credit bureau files comes from the financial services sector and are based on the data provided by a borrower.  With multiple parties involved it takes time for data to be corrected. 
Credit Bureaus are an integral part of the financial system.  Their primary rai•son d’ê•tre (purpose of existence) is to protect the financial system.  Thus data is shared with all major credit bureaus. It is therefore puzzling as to why the Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is attacking Experian.  This is an industry matter and should be handled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as the regulatory body for the financial services sector and the credit bureau industry.