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EQUIFAX AGREES TO CONDUCT FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM FOR VERMONT CONSUMERS

 ATLANTA, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced an agreement to provide a follow-up program for Vermont residents who might have been affected by the collection of erroneous tax lien data in 1991 by National Data Retrieval, a public record checking firm and an Equifax vendor.
 Equifax initiated a similar voluntary program in 1991.
 Thomas F. Chapman, Equifax executive vice president, said: "After being contacted by Equifax in 1991, only a handful of consumers contacted us with a question about tax lien information in their files. To our knowledge, we resolved every case to the consumer's satisfaction and have had no subsequent complaints regarding tax liens by Vermont consumers."
 Chapman added: "When we learned in 1991 that some tax lien information furnished us by National Data Retrieval may have been inaccurate, we took immediate and voluntary action to rectify the situation. As responsible stewards of consumer information, we are always committed to reporting accurate data and to providing responsive consumer service. This agreement simply reaffirms that commitment."
 Upon learning of the incident in August 1991, Equifax took the following steps:
 -- immediately initiated purges of suspected erroneous tax-lien data from its files.
 -- mailed a letter to all potentially affected consumers, alerting them to the situation and offering a free credit report.
 -- established a toll-free telephone number for consumers to call for a free copy of their credit report to verify contents.
 Chapman said: "After evaluating the irregular record keeping practices of various Vermont municipal clerk's offices (some kept tax lien records literally in a shoe box), and after assessing the difficulty of ensuring 100 percent accuracy, we decided to stop storing Vermont property tax lien information."
 Under the newly signed agreement, to be eligible for reimbursement up to a $1,000 maximum, consumers must demonstrate that (1) they were Vermont residents in 1991 or had tax lien information reported on an Equifax credit report in 1991 on real property in Vermont; and (2) that they applied for and, on the basis of erroneous tax lien information in the Equifax credit report, were denied or experienced a detrimental delay in receiving new or maintaining existing credit or other financial benefits.
 Equifax has agreed to mail, within 30 days of the filing of the agreement, a package to all consumers potentially eligible to participate in this follow-up program. Consumers wishing to participate in the reimbursement program must submit a registration form to Equifax within 45 days of receipt of the package.
 Equifax Inc. is the leading provider of information to facilitate transactions between business and consumers. Strategic objectives include superior service standards, technological leadership, and fairness in the use of personal information. Equifax pledges that consumer interests in privacy, accuracy and responsible service will be respected in all its activities. Revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, were more than $1.1 billion.
 -0- 5/21/93
 /CONTACT: John A. Ford, vice president, Corporate Public Affairs of Equifax, 404-885-8309 or, home, 404-297-1879/
 (EFX)


CO: Equifax Inc. ST: Vermont, Georgia IN: FIN SU:

BR-BN -- AT007 -- 1273 05/21/93 14:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 21, 1993
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