TransUnoin Credit Reporting Agency Begins Its Settlement Plan
As a result of the class action lawsuit against TransUnion, one of the national credit reporting agencies, it was settled that millions of its past and current customers are eligible for a range of free privileges, as well as possible compensation payouts. Qualifying customers are those who had a credit card, a car loan or a student loan at any time between 1987 and May 28, 2008. If you are holding an open credit line, which may include credit cards by Bank of America, Target and other retail store cards, mortgage and auto loans, you could also apply for part of the class action lawsuit settlement by registering at listclassaction.com until September 24, 2008.
Customers who managed to qualify for the TransUnion free services can now avail of one of the three options available. According to the settlement plan, a customer may choose from either 6 or 9 months of free credit monitoring services or a compensation cash payout, the latter being harder to receive.
All the three national credit reporting agencies are allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to sell publicly available information for their marketing purposes. TransUnion violated the law when it sold its consumers' personal data to third parties which used it for promoting card applications and other business activities or accidentally allowed its leakage.
This legal abuse entailed a lot of damage to customers' personal and financial standing, and a judge from the US District Court in the Northern District of Illinois granted the approval for the settlement. The settlement is based on the $75 million fund which TransUnion created to pay for consumers' free services. Your options as a qualifying customer are:
Six months of free credit monitoring services plan provides you with unlimited access to credit report files and helps track credit scores online. You will also be e-mailed notifications once any suspicious activity it detected on your account.
Nine months of free credit monitoring services plan also allows access to the scores important for making insurance decisions, as well as to the service that calculates the impact of the scores on the mortgage rate.
Possible compensation plan provides for the money remaining from the $75 million settlement fund to be allocated between qualifying customers and non-profit organizations. While it might be an enticing option, there's certain hassle for a class member looking to benefit from it. The money won't be paid out until all the other settlement claims are satisfied.
Although TransUnion has not acknowledged the wrongdoings on its part, it opted out of the court process which could have taken much longer time and greater expenses to continue. Instead, it is arranging for the free services to avail of for up to 9 months with subsequent withdrawal at the end of the period. Those who want to stay enrolled will have to pay the regular monthly price set by the bureau.
It is hoped that the practice of trading the customer's private data will be eliminated or averted once TransUnion gives a bright example of what trouble and expense it may lead to.