JACKSON, Miss. — A credit score is the magic number that allows consumers to get loans for cars and houses, and even can affect employment. However, many consumer advocates say credit scores and credit reporting is unfair, secretive and sometimes a flat out farce.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is suing Experian after dozens of residents reported problems with the credit reporting agency.
The complaint, which is more than 100 pages long, was originally filed in Chancery Court in Harrison County, but later removed to federal court.
Hood claims the company has violated state and federal law for more than 20 years and continues to hurt consumers in the process.
The complaint alleges, among many things, that Experian fails to address errors on consumers’ credit reports, doesn’t re-investigate consumer disputes and doesn’t provide consumers with their full credit file.
Hood built the suit based on complaints and other lawsuits filed by Mississippi residents against the agency.
He says the company’s negative practices hurt these residents who were denied credit, paid higher interest rates and even couldn’t open bank accounts based on Experian’s negative reporting practices.
Hood wants a judge to enjoin Experian from future violations, have the company pay restitution to consumers who were deceptively marketed products and pay civil penalties for violating state and federal law.
While consumer groups and other states have made similar allegations, this is the first time in recent history that a state has sued a credit reporting agency.