Penalty Matches FTC’s Second-Largest Ever in an FCRA Case
TeleCheck Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, along with its associated debt-collection entity, TRS Recovery Services, Inc., have agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
TeleCheck, based in Houston, Texas, is a consumer reporting agency (CRA) that compiles consumers’ personal information and uses it to help retail merchants throughout the United States determine whether to accept consumers’ checks. Under the FCRA, consumers whose checks are denied based on information TeleCheck provided to the merchant have the right to dispute that information and have TeleCheck investigate and correct any inaccuracies.
The FTC’s complaint alleges, among other things, that TeleCheck did not follow proper dispute procedures, including refusing to investigate disputes. The complaint also alleges that TeleCheck failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it provided to its merchant clients as required by the FCRA, and failed to promptly correct errors on consumers’ reports.
The penalty matches the second-largest ever obtained by the FTC in an FCRA case. Earlier this year, another check authorization company, Certegy Check Services, Inc., agreed to pay a $3.5 million fine to settle FTC allegations similar to those made against TeleCheck.