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MORE ACCURATE CREDIT REPORTS IS GOAL OF SETTLEMENT WITH TRANS UNION

MORE ACCURATE CREDIT REPORTS IS GOAL OF SETTLEMENT WITH TRANS UNION
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Trans Union, one of the nation's largest credit reporting agencies, will take steps to eliminate errors from its files under terms of a court settlement with Pennsylvania and 16 other states, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. announced.
 A consent decree filed in federal court in Chicago, where Trans Union is based, also requires Trans Union to pay the states a total of $220,000 in costs.
 Preate said Trans Union has company-owned divisions in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and affiliates in Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Reading, Williamsport and York.
 "Accurate credit reports are essential in today's tough economic times," Preate said. "Families that rely on their good credit to get by can be hurt by erroneous information on their credit reports."
 The attorney general said the settlement is the third such agreement negotiated in the past year by a group of states to address consumer complaints regarding credit reporting. The other agreements were with TRW and Equifax.
 "I believe this settlement, along with the prior agreements, will result in a credit reporting industry that produces more accurate reports and is more responsive to consumers' questions and problems," Preate said.
 The attorney general said Trans Union has agreed to improve its system and procedures to reduce the occurrence of "mixed files," where information pertaining to one consumer appears in another's credit report.
 "The company also will implement procedures to prevent deleted information from reappearing on a consumer's credit report," Preate said.
 Under terms of the settlement, Trans Union also agreed to:
 -- Provide a toll-free telephone number to give consumers access to Trans Union consumer assistance personnel.
 -- Complete investigation of consumer disputes within 30 days and provide consumers with corrected versions of their credit reports.
 -- Change disputed items or information if consumers provide reliable documentation confirming the information is incomplete or inaccurate.
 -- Check public record information when it is disputed by consumers to verify the information is accurate and up to date.
 -- Furnish consumers with their credit reports within four days of receiving a request.
 -- Make clear and conspicuous disclosure of consumers' rights to dispute information in their credit reports.
 -- Undertake consumer research to determine whether the format of Trans Union's consumer credit reports can be made easier to read and understand.
 -- Institute procedures to ensure all credit information on a consumer is combined into a single file.
 Preate said several states, including Pennsylvania, have been examining credit reporting industry practices in response to complaints from consumers who say they've found inaccurate information on their credit reports and have had difficulty getting the reports corrected."
 The attorney general said his Bureau of Consumer Protection received and investigated more than 2,500 credit-related complaints from consumers in 1991.
 "My office will continue to monitor Trans Union's handling of its records, and will continue to investigate every consumer complaint we receive," Preate said.
 Under terms of the settlement, Trans Union doesn't admit any wrongdoing, Preate noted.
 Deputy Attorney General John E. Kelly, attorney-in-charge of the Bureau of Consumer Protection's Philadelphia office, represented Pennsylvania in negotiations with Trans Union.
 Other states participating in the settlement were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/26/92
 /CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis, assistant press secretary of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840/ CO: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


LJ -- PH029 -- 4806 10/26/92 12:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1992
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