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Experian & TransUnion: Inaccurate Tax Lien Reporting

Experian & TransUnion: Inaccurate Tax Lien Reporting

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Class Action Complaints Filed Against Experian and TransUnion

Class action complaints have been filed in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of individuals who received Experian or TransUnion consumer reports containing tax lien or other public record errors and in state court in Pennsylvania against Experian only.

Consumer Reports Containing Tax Lien or Other Errors

Individuals have reported receiving consumer reports from consumer reporting agencies that reflect paid, satisfied or released tax liens as unpaid or not satisfied. 

Individuals also have reported paid, satisfied or released civil judgments as unpaid, or not satisfied, as well as other errors with derogatory public record reporting.

The Class Actions Against Experian and TransUnion

Plaintiffs have alleged that Experian and TransUnion, two of the “big three” U.S. consumer reporting agencies, willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by reporting tax liens that were already paid and failing to follow reasonable procedures to ensure that the tax lien information they reported was as accurate as possible.

Plaintiffs and the proposed class members are seeking an award of statutory, actual, and punitive damages from the inaccurate tax lien reporting. They also seek to ensure that Experian and TransUnion cease reporting inaccurate public record information and update the public record information they obtain and report about consumers.

Are Experian and TransUnion Aware of Consumer Reporting Inaccuracies?

The class action complaints allege that Experian and TransUnion are well aware that they have problems with failing to accurately report public record information. In fact, both agencies, in addition to Equifax, have been sued multiple times for releasing inaccurate consumer reports.

Both consumer reporting agencies receive the public information that they include on their reports from a third party. According to the complaints, Experian and TransUnion know that the tax lien information they obtain from this third party is often inaccurate or out of date. Despite this knowledge, neither agency takes any reasonable action to ensure that the information they receive is accurate before reporting it.

Why Is The Inaccurate Information Not Corrected by Experian and TransUnion?

Neither Experian nor TransUnion has a reasonable systemic procedure to assure that, when tax liens are paid, satisfied, or released, the updated status is promptly obtained and reflected on a consumer’s credit report.

In fact, both agencies acknowledge on their websites that outdated tax lien reporting is a problem. However, both agencies attempt to put the responsibility on the consumer to report or correct any outdated tax lien information.

What Is a Tax Lien?

A tax lien is the government’s claim on a taxpayer’s property. It is generally placed when a taxpayer fails to pay owed taxes. This ensures that the government gets first right to the property over other creditors if the taxpayer does not pay back the overdue taxes.

Tax liens are considered derogatory marks on consumers’ credit reports. By reporting paid tax liens as unpaid, Experian and TransUnion are placing individuals’ credit scores at risk.

What Is a Public Record?

A public record is any record maintained by the government.  Judgments in civil cases are public records, and an entry is made when the judgment is paid. If you have ever had a debt collection or other lawsuit filed against you and have paid money, you have a public judgment record. In addition to having problems with tax lien reporting, many consumer reporting agencies also have problems with inaccurate reporting of public civil judgments. The agencies show the judgments as unpaid, “unsatisfied,” or not released when, in fact, the consumer has paid the full amount owed.

Unpaid judgments are considered derogatory marks on consumer credit reports, and by reporting paid tax liens as unpaid, Experian and TransUnion are putting individuals’ credit scores at risk.

Does Your Consumer Report Contain A Tax Lien or Other Civil Judgement Error?

If your consumer report from Experian, TransUnion or another credit reporting agency reflects a paid tax lien or other civil judgment as unpaid, not satisfied or not released, please fill out the contact form on the right or contact either John Kehoe, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 801, [email protected]; Michael Yarnoff, Esq., (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804, [email protected]; or send an e-mail to [email protected].

About Kehoe Law Firm, P.C.

The Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. is a multidisciplinary, plaintiff–side law firm dedicated to protecting investors and consumers from corporate fraud, negligence, and other wrongdoing. Driven by a strong and principled sense of social responsibility and obtaining justice for the aggrieved, Kehoe Law Firm, P.C. represents plaintiffs seeking to recover investment losses resulting from securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, corporate wrongdoing or malfeasance, those harmed by anticompetitive practices, and consumers victimized by fraud, negligence, false claims, deception, data breaches or whose rights to minimum wage and overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws have been violated.