As Consumer Credit Tightens Nationwide, New Rules Require Credit Reporting Industry To Clean Up Consumer Credit Files And Maintain Accurate Credit Information

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New rules for the credit reporting industry are scheduled to become operational today pursuant to an injunction issued by Judge David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California. The nation’s three major repositories of consumer credit information, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Trans Union, LLC, and Equifax Information Services, LLC, must now follow detailed procedures for the retroactive correction and updating of consumers' credit file information concerning debt discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings as well as new procedures to ensure that debts subject to future discharge orders will be similarly treated.

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It is more important now than ever that consumers' creditworthiness be assessed upon the most accurate information available.

Michael W. Sobol, an attorney at the national law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, representing plaintiffs in the litigation, stated, "The new procedures represent a paradigm shift in credit reporting industry that will immediately benefit millions of consumers in the United States and for years to come. No longer can credit reporting agencies merely parrot back this information as provided by creditors but must now reconcile creditors' information against available public records to assure maximum possible accuracy."

Millions of Americans have been denied mortgages, home refinancing and car loans, or paid higher interest rates, when their credit reports have old debts still showing up as unpaid and overdue. In the class action lawsuit, plaintiffs charge that against Experian, Trans Union and Equifax, the nation's three major repositories of consumer credit information violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") by recklessly failing to follow reasonable procedures in the reporting of debts discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. Plaintiffs allege that defendants continued to report debts as unpaid or overdue even though they had been discharged in bankruptcy and defendants were aware of the existence a Chapter 7 discharge order.

The new procedures for the credit reporting industry were established under to an injunction approved by Judge Carter in August 2008 in the case of White v. Experian Information Solutions, No. 05-CV-1070 DOC (C.D. Cal.). The Court set October 1, 2008, as the date the new procedures became in effect.

"Consumer credit is tightening across the nation due to the crisis in the financial industry," noted Sobol. "It is more important now than ever that consumers' creditworthiness be assessed upon the most accurate information available."

To read the Court's order establishing the injunction and other information in White v. Experian Information Solutions, please visit http://www.lieffcabraser.com/consumer/credit-report.htm

A profile of the litigation and discussion of the importance of the injunction can also be found in yesterday's Wall Street Journal at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122273650932088677.html

The class action lawsuit remains ongoing with plaintiffs seeking monetary damages for defendants' alleged misconduct.

Joining Lieff Cabraser in representing the plaintiffs in the class action are Daniel Wolf of the Law Office of Daniel Wolf, Washington, D.C.; Charles W. Juntikka of Charles Juntikka & Associates, New York, New York; Stuart Rossman of the National Consumer Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Michael A. Caddell of Caddell & Chapman, Houston, Texas; Leonard A. Bennett of Consumer Litigation Associates, P.C. of Newport News, Virginia; Mitchell A. Toups of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell, L.L.P. of Beaumont, Texas; and Lee A. Sherman of Callahan McCune & Willis of Tustin, California.

About Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a fifty-plus attorney law firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972. We have offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. We represent plaintiffs in class and group actions and in individual lawsuits in cases involving substantial losses. For the last five years, the National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the nation.

Learn more about our firm at http://www.lieffcabraser.com

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