This week, NBC News released an investigative report about the Equifax credit reporting agency. In this report, it is stated that employers disclosed employment and salary information to Equifax who in turn sold it to debt collectors and other financial institutions. It is alleged that Equifax has access to over 190 million employment files covering roughly one-third of American citizens. In some cases the information is “so detailed that it contains week-by-week paystub information dating back years for many individuals, as well as other kinds of human resources-related information, such as health care provider, whether someone has dental insurance and if they’ve ever filed an unemployment claim.”
However, that is not the most disturbing part about the article. The fact that is most alarming: their actions are legal and performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Not only does it feel like a gross invasion of privacy, it also has financial repercussions that are more than just emotionally damaging.
The ability for creditors to purchase salary and employment information makes it easier to collect from debtors through a garnishment. It also provides an opportunity for creditors to acquire contact information of your employer. With this information, some of the more aggressive creditors will use this resource to call and harass you at work, some at multiple times during the day.
While you may not have an option to prevent your information from being sold to these financial institutions, you do have the power to stop the harassment of these creditors. Whether it is through a personal reorganization or by completely eliminating your debts through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, our firm can guide you through this process. If creditors are harassing you or you would like to speak with someone with experience in the area about your options, please contact our office nearest to you to set up a free private and confidential consultation visit with one of our licensed attorneys.