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DEBT COLLECTORS GET EMPLOYMENT INFO FROM EQUIFAX

Consumer’s income and wage information is personal information, but according to NBC News, that isn’t keeping Equifax from sharing personal financial information without your knowledge.  Equifax is one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies – Experian and Trans Union are the other two – has obtained employment information for more than 1/3 of working adults in the US.  The information includes salary history and wages.  Equifax sells this information to debt collectors and other companies.  “It’s the biggest privacy breach in our time,” Robert Mather of Pre-Employ.com, told NBC.

How does Equifax do it? Equifax gets personal financial information from businesses and shares it with one of its subsidiaries, The Work Number. Used by lenders and employment screening companies, The Work Number serves as a verification of employment and income information. According to NBC, once the information is compiled, Equifax sells some of it to debt collectors and financial services companies without expressly notifying the individual whose information is being distributed.

Demitra Wilson, a spokesperson for Equifax, verified that debt collectors can request employment data from The Work Number.  Chi Chi Wu, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, said that unfortunately, as more data gets dumped into big computer systems,  Americans will see more of this type of massive data sharing. Wu added that Equifax’s sharing of information with debt collectors and  financial service companies is currently legal under The Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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We represent consumers under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  The federal law requires consumer reporting agencies to assure the maximum accuracy of credit reports.  The Act also requires the credit reporting agencies to perform a reasonable reinvestigation of information disputed by consumers.  Have you discovered credit report errors?  Have you disputed the errors to the credit reporting agencies and the incorrect information was verified?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, contact us for a free case review at 1-800-263-9091 24/7.