ABN AMRO Mortgage Group said today that a computer tape containing data of approximately 2 million residential mortgage customers was lost in transit.

The company, a subsidiary of LaSalle Bank Corp., said in a statement that so far, it has no knowledge that the data on the tape has been misused.

“We understand that this incident may cause concern for our customers, and we deeply regret that it has occurred,” said Thomas M. Goldstein, chairman and chief executive officer of ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, in a statement.

“We have begun notifying our customers and are dedicating resources to assist them and to answer any questions they may have. Although we have no reason to believe that this information has been misused, we are also informing them of steps they can take to protect themselves,” Goldstein said.

In addition, the company has arranged for its residential mortgage customers to enroll in a credit-monitoring service, at their choice, for 90 days at no cost to them, ABN AMRO said. Once the customers enroll, they will be notified of any activity related to their credit report so they can take necessary action.

A package containing the computer tape was picked up by DHL from the company’s Chicago data processing center on Nov. 18 and did not arrive at its intended destination at an Experian credit bureau facility in Allen, Texas, ABN AMRO said.

Data on the tape included residential mortgage customer names, account information, payment histories and Social Security numbers, according to ABN AMRO.

As the company learned about this, it immediately began an internal investigation and asked DHL to search for the tape and conduct an investigation. Law enforcement has been alerted and the company has implemented measures to check for any unusual activity suggesting misuse — at this time, none has been found, the company said.

The company has also notified the appropriate regulatory agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.

“Following the loss of the tape containing the data, we suspended the physical tape transfers to the credit bureau companies and are transmitting that customer data from our Chicago data processing center exclusively by secure and encrypted electronic means,” said Goldstein.

For customers, the bank has established a special Web site, info.mortgage.com, which provides information about the incident and the assistance available to customers.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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