Afni, Inc. pays $500K for FCRA violations
The CFPB has issued a consent order in ad administrative proceeding against Afni, Inc., an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Bloomington, Illinois, that collects debts on behalf of telecommunications companies and furnishes information to credit reporting agencies (CRAs). Afni furnishes information about debt-collection accounts to CRAs, including the nationwide CRAs: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion (the NCRAs). The Bureau found that, from at least March 2016 through July 2017, Afni's furnishing logic incorrectly translated its account files into the format used to report consumer information to the NCRAs, which resulted in Afni furnishing at least the following inaccurate information:
- Afni furnished actual payment amounts as zero dollars on approximately 165,600 accounts, even though those consumers had made payments.
- Afni also furnished current balances and amounts past due in amounts other than zero dollars on approximately 72,000 accounts, even though those consumers’ accounts were settled in full.
- Afni knew or had reasonable cause to believe that this information was inaccurate because its own records reflected the correct account information.
- Afni did not clearly and conspicuously specify to consumers an address for receipt of notices that furnished information was inaccurate, pursuant to section 623(a)(1)(C) of the FCRA
- On many accounts, Afni failed to report an appropriate date of first delinquency.
Afni has been directed to take affirmative corrective action, including the hiring of one or more independent consultants to do an independent review of its activities, policies, and procedrues related to furnishing and credit reporting. Afni must also pay a $500,000 civil money penalty to the SDPB.