Top Democrats Ask Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian: Will You Restore Consumers’ Rights in the Wake of the Equifax Data Breach?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

PAWTUCKET – Following the Equifax data breach of 143 million Americans’ personal information, Representatives David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Don Beyer (D-VA), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), and John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) wrote to the three main credit rating agencies—Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian—to hear whether these companies will continue to include forced arbitration clauses in their terms of service or end their campaign against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rule to restore consumers’ day in court.

They wrote:

“The economic security of nearly half of all Americans has been jeopardized because Equifax’s failure to safeguard our most sensitive information, which is now in the hands of criminals. Making matters worse, many of those affected by this massive security breach are unsure whether they even have legal recourse because of your company’s use of forced arbitration clauses. Although Equifax has revised its policy in response to public outcry, this limited change is simply not enough given the systemic nature of this problem and the scope of the lives affected. We therefore request information concerning your plans to revise your terms of service and stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule to restore consumers’ day in court.”

The CFPB arbitration rule includes important safeguards for consumers against forced arbitration, a practice that routinely allows corporate entities to avoid class-action lawsuits by burying legal language in the fine print of contracts that require consumers to waive their right to court.

A Republican measure to repeal that rule, supported by all three credit rating agencies, passed in the House of Representatives in July on a nearly-straight party-line vote. It is currently pending in the Senate.

The group of House Democrats denounced the three credit agencies for their opposition to the forced arbitration rule, writing, “Rather than support this commonsense protection, your company and others like it have reportedly campaigned against it, spending millions in campaign contributions and other efforts to undermine both the rule and the CFPB. Now is the time to demonstrate your respect for the rights of your customers, not undermine them.”

Signed copies of the letters are available here, here, and here.

DNC Twitter

  • 1 hour 33 min ago RT : I would prefer overtly breaking the ad and information distribution monopoly, but this is a good piece by Congressm…
  • 4 hours 55 min ago Congrats to my wonderful friends & Jane Moffat on the birth of their beautiful son! 🎈🍾🎊🎉
  • 8 hours 38 min ago RT : Mental health and violence prevention services in schools are critical to promote . , m…
  • 8 hours 58 min ago Incredibly honored to receive this recognition. Will continue fighting on behalf of our Armenian American community.
  • 9 hours 50 min ago Deeply saddened by the death of my friend Louise Slaughter. My full statement below.
  • 13 hours 10 min ago RT : Programming Alert: Rep Cicilline will be on in a few minutes.

Join the team