Late last year, TransUnion agreed to pay approximately $17 million as part of a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in connection with TransUnion’s advertising and marketing practices.  The settlement stems from a civil investigative demand that addressed TransUnion’s common industry practices relating to the advertising, marketing, and sale of consumer reports, credit scores, or credit monitoring products to consumers.  The CFPB alleged that TransUnion falsely represented that the credit scores sold to consumers through credit-related services were the same scores that lenders used and that marketing practices led consumers to believe they were signing up for a one-dollar trial when they were actually being enrolled in a subscription program.  The CFPB also took issue with the nature of TransUnion’s disclosure regarding the use of credit scoring models because the disclosure was at the bottom of the advertisement “in fine print, far removed from the claims the disclosure was intended to modify.”

Following the investigation, TransUnion settled with the CFPB, and it has agreed to change its advertising and is preparing to repay affected consumers.  Specifically, Trans Union has agreed that it will modify its marketing practices by obtaining consent to enroll in credit-related services where fees are charged after free trials and will make it easier for consumers to cancel products if they no longer want them.

Under the proposed agreement with the CFPB, TransUnion will provide $13.9 million for “redress” to eligible consumers.  TransUnion will also pay a civil fine of $3 million to the CFPB.  A copy of the Consent Order is available here.