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TransUnion settles with CFPB over civil investigation demand

TransUnion on Dec. 22 agreed to settle with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding a civil investigative demand it received from the bureau, the company said in a Form 8-K filed Dec. 29.

The demand was focused on common industry practices relating to the advertising, marketing and sale of consumer reports, credit scores or credit monitoring products by the company's consumer interactive segment.

According to the settlement, TransUnion executed and delivered a stipulation and consent to the issuance of a consent order that requires TransUnion to implement certain agreed-upon practice changes in the way TransUnion advertises, markets and sells products and services offered directly to consumers. Those changes include more robust disclosures regarding the nature of the credit score being provided, as well as confirming consumer consent if the product or service is being sold through the use of a negative option feature.

The consent order also requires TransUnion to develop and submit to the CFPB for approval a comprehensive compliance plan detailing the steps for addressing each action required by the terms of the consent order, and specific time frames and deadlines for implementation.

TransUnion said it will incur a one-time charge of about $19.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, consisting of about $13.9 million for redress to eligible consumers; a civil money penalty to be paid to the CFPB in the amount of $3.0 million; and an estimated $2.5 million for additional administrative, legal and compliance costs TransUnion will incur in connection with the settlement.

The CFPB is expected to recommend the settlement to the director for final approval.