Industry News

Credit reporting agency settles FTC charges

Inaccurate information allegedly sold to mortgage lenders

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Consumer reporting agency Far West Credit Inc. must pay $120,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it did not follow reasonable procedures to assure the accuracy of the information in the consumer reports it sold to mortgage companies, in violation of federal law, the FTC reported this week. According to an FTC complaint, Far West creates consumer credit reports for use by the mortgage industry in evaluating consumers for loans. Far West buys credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, and merges the information about the consumers. If there is insufficient information about the consumer's credit worthiness from the major credit reporting agencies, Far West will accept information from the consumer, or other interested parties, to show consumers' credit status with businesses such as cable companies, utilities, "rent-to-own" businesses and insurance companies – operations that do not report normally to the nation...