Posted On: August 22, 2013 by Watts & Herring, LLC

Certegy (check collection) pays 3.5 million dollar fine for violating FCRA

Certegy is a company we have dealt with before -- we have not been impressed with their business practices. They just agreed to a massive fine -- 3.5 million dollars for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Certegy Check Services, Inc., one of the nation’s largest check authorization service companies, has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Certegy, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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 Certegy provides the merchant, have the right to dispute that information and have Certegy correct any inaccuracies.

The FTC’s complaint alleges, among other things, that Certegy did not follow proper dispute procedures. The complaint further alleges that Certegy failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information it provided to its merchant clients, as required by the FCRA.

Here's the kicker:

“Inaccurate information in a consumer reporting agency’s file can have a huge impact on a person’s everyday life, starting with their check being denied at the grocery store,” said Jessica L. Rich, Director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “In this case, we alleged that Certegy delivered a one-two punch: the company not only failed to assure that the information it provided to retailers was accurate, but it also failed to follow proper dispute procedures. Today’s settlement will benefit consumers who use checks to pay for essential goods and services, including many older consumers and people without alternate means of payment, such as credit cards.”

If you have not checked your Certegy credit report, I suggest you do so to make sure that it is accurate. If it is not, then you can follow simple steps to make sure it gets fixed.

If you want to know more about credit reports (whether Certegy or the more traditional places such as Equifax), feel free to look at our website Alabama Consumer and you can also let us know you would like to be a part of our free webinar on Friday, August 23, 2013, at 1 pm central time:

4 Simple Steps To Fixing Any Credit Report Errors.

You can call us at 205-879-2447 or contact us through our website Alabama Consumer.