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VOL. 46 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 8, 2022

CFPB sues TransUnion for violating previous agreement

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued credit company TransUnion and one of its long-time executives on Tuesday, alleging the company completely "disregarded" a previous order from five years ago to stop selling dubious credit-related products and marketing.

TransUnion entered into an agreement with the CFPB in 2017, agreeing to pay $13.9 million in restitution and $3 million in civil penalties, saying it would stop trying to sell customers credit monitoring subscription products and would provide an clear way for a customer to cancel a subscription if they no longer wanted it.

Instead of taking actions to stop these practices, the CFPB alleges that TransUnion executive John Danaher looked for ways to keep the subscription revenues flowing. This included keeping a vague "checkbox" on the TransUnion website that signed customers up for products that they may not have wanted. This often happened when a customer used annualcreditreport.com, the Federal Government's portal that gives every American access to their credit report from each of the bureaus free once a year.

The CFPB says that roughly 18% of TransUnion's annual revenue came from these services, which means it would have been a substantial hit to the Chicago company's bottom line if it were to stop the program entirely.

"TransUnion is an out-of-control repeat offender that believes it is above the law," CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement. "I am concerned that TransUnion's leadership is either unwilling or incapable of operating its businesses lawfully."

TransUnion did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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