FTC Settles FCRA Charges Against Certegy for $3.5 Million

The FTC announced today that Certegy Check Services, Inc. will pay $3.5 million to settle allegations that Certegy violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to follow proper dispute procedures and failing to use reasonable procedures to maximize the accuracy of consumer report information. Certegy is one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, and must comply with FCRA as a consumer reporting agency.

In the complaint, the FTC charged Certegy with failing to comply with FCRA section 611 by attempt[ing] to shift the burden of conducting a reinvestigation to consumers rather than fulfilling its legal obligation to reinvestigate disputed information.” Additionally, the FTC alleged a violation of FCRA section 612(a)(2), which requires consumer reporting agencies to provide consumers with free annual file disclosures within 15 days of a request, and a violation of FCRA’s obligation to establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding the accuracy and integrity of consumer report information.

In addition to the $3.5 million penalty, the settlement also provides for broad injunctive relief that requires Certegy to undertake additional steps above and beyond FCRA requirements to ensure the accuracy of consumer reports.