Financial Protection

CFPB gets greenlight to pursue holding TransUnion accountable for alleged deceptive practices

Federal judge rules in favor of CFPB continuing its lawsuit against “repeat offender”

Pabitra Kaity |

On Friday a Chicago federal judge ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can continue its lawsuit brought against TransUnion in April 2022 for alleged violations of the law. 

TransUnion, one of the three national credit bureaus, tried but failed to seize on an appellate court ruling against the constitutionality of the CFPB’s source of funding, to dismiss the lawsuit against it altogether. 

The CFPB’s lawsuit alleged that TransUnion yet again violated an original law enforcement order in 2017 to stop the company from deceptively marketing its products. The CFPB explained the violations in the following way:

“For example, under federal law, Americans are entitled to a free credit report from TransUnion through TransUnion asked consumers to provide credit card information that appeared to be part of an identity verification process. TransUnion then integrated deceptive buttons into the online interface that gave the impression that the consumer could also access a free credit score in addition to viewing their free credit report. In reality, clicking this button signed consumers up for recurring monthly charges using the credit card information they had provided…For consumers looking for a way out of their subscriptions, TransUnion not only failed to offer a simple mechanism for cancellation, it actively made it arduous for consumers to cancel through clever uses of font and color on its website.”

The CFPB’s lawsuit was part of a larger effort this year to crack down on “repeat offenders” of consumer protection law. The CFPB had previously let TransUnion know in 2019 and 2020 that it was violating its 2017 order.

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