About the Massive Equifax Data Breach and What to Do About it

As almost every knows, in Equifax suffered a massive data breach that affected about half of the United States population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports.  To make matters worse, the stolen information included sensitive personal data useful for identity theft: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The thieves also got credit card information on 200,000 consumers. Consumer advocates are calling on Equifax to pay fees for security freezes for consumers.  A security freeze is the most effective measure against “new account” identity theft, because it stops thieves from using the consumer’s stolen...

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Fed Loan Accused of Mismanaging Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs

The NY Times Dealbook today reports that the Massachusetts attorney general has sued the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which operates under the name FedLoan, for making made errors in connection with the student loan forgiveness programs. The company, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., holds an exclusive contract with the federal Department of Education to service loans enrolled in the public service loan forgiveness program and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program, or TEACH, which offers assistance to those who teach in high-need areas. Congress created the program in 2007, and the first wave...

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Private Student Loan Debt Held by National Collegiate Trust May be Wiped Out

National Collegiate Trust is an umbrella name for 15 trust that hold 800,000 private student loans totaling $12 billion. More than $5 billion is in default. The trusts, usually represented by Transworld Systems, have aggressively pursued delinquent borrowers. The NY Times today reports that billions of the debt might be wiped away because National Collegiate Trust often lacks the paperwork to show it is entitled to collect on the debt. Judges throughout the country have dismissed lawsuits by NCT and Transworld because required documentation was missing. NCT's loans were made to college students more than 10 years ago by dozens...

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San Francisco Jury Awards $60 Million Against Trans Union

On June 20, 2017, the law firms of Francis & Mailman, P.C., Philadelphia, and Anderson, Ogilvie & Brewer, LLC, San Francisco, obtained the highest jury verdict in the history of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In a class action brought against the Trans Union credit reporting agency based upon its practice of falsely associating consumers with the federal government’s OFAC terrorist watchlist, a San Francisco jury awarded the class $60,055,800 in statutory and punitive damages.

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Starting July 1, the Big Three Credit Bureaus Will Delete Many Tax Liens & Civil Judgments

Starting July 1,2017, Experian, Equifax and Trans Union will delete tax liens and civil judgments from consumers' credit reports unless they include the person's name, address and either their SSN or date of birth. About half of tax liens and virtually all judgments do not have a SSN or date of birth. The problem with the tax liens and judgments lacking this identifying information was that the information lacking personal identifying information often belonged to some other person. The bureaus are making these changes having received pressure from regulators and state attorneys general to improve the accuracy of their reports....

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