Equifax Data Breach: Breach On Ice or Are There Still Credit Card Risks

by Brian Riley 0

The news cycle on the 120 million record breach at Equifax appears over for now, as the latest news cycles deal with the Philadephia Eagles, North Korea participating in the 2018 Olympics, and shifts in the stock market.

Is the Equifax issue over?  Far from it, but it looks like shifts in the CFPB pushed Equifax down in investigative priorities.

  • Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has pulled back from a full-scale probe of how Equifax Inc failed to protect the personal data of millions of consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • The CFPB effort against Equifax has sputtered since then, said several government and industry sources, raising questions about how Mulvaney will police a data-warehousing industry that has enormous sway over how much consumers pay to borrow money.

  • The CFPB also recently rebuffed bank regulators at the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-site exams of credit bureaus, said two sources familiar with the matter.

We will have to see if this is a moniker for a more friendly CFPB.

  • Equifax has said it is under investigation by every state attorney general and faces more than 240 class action lawsuits.

  • The Federal Trade Commission is examining the breach and the company may face financial penalties. The last time the FTC penalized a major credit bureau was in 2012, a $393,000 settlement with Equifax.

  • In contrast, the CFPB fined credit bureaus more than $25 million just last year for over-marketing its monitoring services, which generated monthly fees.

Everyone needs to get settled into their new job.

  • Mulvaney put a hold on much agency work when he took over in November, and said it would last at least 30 days to give him a chance to understand the job.

Unfortunately, fraudsters don’t wait.

Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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