And there’s the rub: “If Equifax was that middle score and it was 25 points less than it should’ve been, it’s possible that consumer is going to be locked into a 30-year mortgage with an interest rate that is higher than it should’ve been,” Doss said. “Paying over the course of that 30-year term, that’s a lot of money,” alluding to the extra – and unnecessary – expense of a consumer approved at an erroneous, lower creditor score.
MPA last week reached out to an Equifax spokesman for comment but did not receive a response. In a prepared statement issued widely, the company sought to assuage consumers’ concerns: “We know that businesses and consumers depend on our data and Equifax takes this technology coding issue very seriously,” the statement read in part. “As part of our commitment to resolving this issue, Equifax has conducted extensive analysis of credit scores used for consumers seeking credit during the time period of the issue. Our analysis indicates that for those consumers there was no shift in the majority of scores during the three-week timeframe of the issue. Our data shows that less than 300,000 consumers experienced a score shift of 25 points or more. While the score may have shifted, a score shift does not necessarily mean that a consumer’s credit decision was negatively impacted. We take it very seriously, and it’s one we are going to make sure we are going to fix.”
A couple of paragraphs down in the statement, the credit rating agency makes this statement: “Again, we do not take this issue lightly. The issue has been fixed, we are working closely with lenders, and we are accelerating the migration of this environment to the Equifax Cloud, which will provide additional controls and monitoring that will help to detect and prevent similar issues in the future.”
Despite such assurances, litigation against the agency has already begun in the glitch’s wake. According to NBC News, a class-action lawsuit was filed in US District Court in North Georgia by the Florida-based law firm Morgan and Morgan. Attorneys seek a trial by jury for damages suffered by anyone whose score changed during the time of the system glitch, the news outlet reported this week.