The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has fined Conduent Business Services, formerly known as Xerox Business Systems, $1.1 million for erroneous information it sent about consumers to the three credit bureaus.
The CFPB said the company's software errors resulted in the incorrect information being placed on one million consumers' credit reports, which lowered their credit scores and could have impacted their ability to borrow money.
The company was also cited for its failure to tell all of its auto loan clients about the problem in its software. In addition to agreeing to the fine, Conduent has agreed to fix the software and explain the problem to its clients, CFPB said.
“We have entered into a consent order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stemming from a 2014 investigation," a company spokesman said in an email to ConsumerAffairs. "We are focused on maintaining open communications with customers regarding any changes our partners make to their software that may impact their reporting.”
The government's complaint alleges that Conduent used "flawed, unreleased loan-servicing software" that resulted in inaccurate and incomplete information about consumers being sent to credit reporting agencies.
In some cases, CFPB said consumers’ credit files were missing the date of the borrowers’ first delinquent payment, or had an incorrect date. Other missing or incorrect information included the amounts of payments and past due amounts.
Mistakes on credit reports have plagued consumers for years. Often consumers don't learn of incorrect information in their credit reports until they apply for a loan.
Now easier to correct errors
However, attorneys general from 31 states reached a settlement with the three credit reporting agencies in 2015 to make it easier for consumers to correct errors in their credit reports.
The investigation examined how the credit reporting agencies investigate consumer disputes about errors on credit reports and increased accountability for the companies that provide credit information, known as data furnishers.
The agreement required the credit bureaus to hold data furnishers to higher standards, provide greater protections for consumers who dispute information on their credit reports, limit the kinds of information that can go on a credit report, and provide additional consumer education.
Consumers can review their credit reports from all three credit agencies once a year at no charge by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.