Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TransUnion Corp May Soon Reach a Settlement for Class Action Suit

In an interesting turn of events, the credit reporting bureau TransUnion Corp has settled a $10 billion class action suit. As a result of the settlement, millions of people may be able to access their credit scores for free while receiving some additional benefits that will help them keep their credit safe.

Why the Lawsuit?

For quite some time now, TransUnion Corp has been battling charges that were filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. According to the suit, the company sold information about its consumers to a variety of retailers and lenders. The suit alleges that the information was customized to suit the needs of these lenders and retailers, who then used the information for marketing purposes. According to Federal law, the private credit information of consumers cannot be sold unless special circumstances have taken place, such as when a consumer applies for a loan. Therefore, selling this information to lenders and retailers is a direct violation of the law.

What Will Consumers Receive?

If the settlement, which still has to be reviewed in Federal court, is finalized, approximately 160 million people throughout the United States will be affected. Those that are included in the class action suit, which is thought to have the largest number of plaintiffs ever included in one class action suit, will receive free access to their credit scores. Although Federal law currently allows consumers to receive a free copy of their credit reports each year, it does not call for providing consumers with their actual scores.

In addition to receiving free access to their credit scores, the plaintiffs in the case will also receive either six months of the basic credit reporting services and a cash payment or they can choose to receive nine months of enhanced services. The basic service normally sells for $59.75, while the enhanced service includes more detailed information such as an insurance score and a mortgage rate simulator.

How Will Consumers Benefit?

All consumers can benefit from receiving free access to their credit scores and from the credit reporting service. Those that are in financial trouble because of the mortgage collapse or those facing other financial economic problems, however, will particularly benefit from the service. This is because the service provides them will immediate access to their credit information and they can find out their credit scores at any time, which means they can make wiser financial decisions. The service is also set up to notify consumers when changes take place in their files, such as when an new account is opened in their name, which is beneficial when it comes to fending off identity thieves.

Experts in the field are astounded by what TransUnion Corp is offering in the class action suit. Ken McEldowney, who is the executive director of Consumer Action, has referred to the settlement as being “mind-boggling” and “astonishing.” He went on to say, “It’s everything we tell consumers that they need to find out if they have problems with their credit. They are getting information on how to improve it and information about whether they are credit worthy.”

About the Author:
Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for www.reliacredit.com . For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit www.reliacredit.com

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