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Woman wins $18.6 million over erroneous Equifax credit report

Julie Miller’s credit score tanked after she was mixed up with another woman who shared her name

An Oregon woman who says her reputation was ruined by an erroneous credit record has won a major chunk of change from Equifax over the mix-up.

A jury awarded $18.6 million to Julie Miller, who says that the company refused to correct a low credit score, and violated her privacy by giving out her unredacted personal information.

Miller claims that she had the misfortune of sharing her name—but evidently not her good credit score—with another Oregon woman, who had several collection attempts on her record. Miller realized this after a bank denied her credit based on a report from the credit reporting agency Equifax.

When Miller requested a copy of the report, she found that much of the information Equifax listed—including her Social Security number, birthday and collection records—was incorrect. But when she asked Equifax to correct the report, the company told her that it needed further information before it could make any adjustments.

Over the next year, Miller reportedly made eight unsuccessful attempts to have her information corrected. Because of her continuing low credit score, she was unable to help her disabled brother—who is unable to get credit himself, according to her suit. She finally sued Equifax in October 2011.

Among her other complaints was the allegation that the company released both her information, including her Social Security number, to businesses looking for the other June Miller’s credit records.

Read more at ABC News.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of mistaken identity, see:

Mistaken Identity

Litigation: Courts take a broad view of protected personal identification information

Identity theft victim claims emotional distress

Alanna Byrne

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