Equifax Forced to Pay $18 Million to Oregon Woman

Like David winning against Goliath, Julie Miller of Oregon won $18.6 million in a lawsuit against the giant credit bureau Equifax.

Julie Miller, Oregon. Photo: New York Times

Julie Miller, Oregon. Photo: New York Times

Julie tried eight times to get the credit company to fix inaccurate, derogatory information from 2009 to 2011, but the bureau was unresponsive. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it is illegal to report negative information that is untrue.

Equifax reported collection accounts that were false, the wrong social security number, and the wrote birthdate. Thanks to this bad information and resulting poor score, she was unable to get a loan she needed to care for her disabled brother.

Finally, she filed lawsuit for “damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy, and lost opportunity to seek credit.” She won $18.6 million, an amount sufficient to turn her life around.

Tragically, Miller is not alone. As many as 21 percent of citizens have at least one error on their credit report, according to a recent study by the Federal Trade Commission. Moreover, five percent of these errors are significant enough to cause people to be denied the credit they deserve.

It is your legal right to receive one free credit report per year to check for credit inaccuracies. The only website I recommend for ordering your credit report is the one owned by the credit bureaus: www.annualcreditreport.com. Ordering your report from any other site is likely to give you an inaccurate score, possibly incomplete information, and thus would be a waste of your time and energy.

For more information about doing your own credit restoration or getting a derogatory, inaccurate account removed see here. The information is still current now in 2013.