Equifax Information Services LLC and Direct Lending Source Inc. have agreed to settle charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the sale of lists of consumers who were late on their mortgage payments.
According to the FTC, Equifax sold more than 17,000 pre-screened lists of consumers to companies, including Direct Lending Source, which subsequently resold some lists to third parties, who used their data to pitch loan modification and debt relief services to people in financial distress. The federal agency claims the companies violated the FTC Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Direct Lending Source will pay a $1.2 million civil penalty and will be barred from using or selling pre-screened lists without a permissible purpose, or in connection with solicitations for debt relief or mortgage assistance relief products or services. Equifax will pay $393,000 to resolve allegations that its inadequate procedures led to the sale of lists of consumer information to firms that should not have received them.