Federal regulators fine TransUnion $23 million for tenant screening and security freeze failures

NEW YORK — Federal regulators fined credit-reporting agency TransUnion a total of $23 million for tenant screening and security freeze failures today.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission fined TransUnion $15 million because the company did not take steps to ensure the rental background checks that landlords use to decide who gets housing were accurate.

They fined the company another $8 million for falsely telling consumers they had placed or removed security freezes and locks on their credit reports. TransUnion told tens of thousands of consumers their requests were completed when, in reality, the requests were dumped into a yearslong backlog.

“Americans across the country were put at risk of wrongful housing denials because TransUnion failed to follow the law,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “We are ordering TransUnion to cease its yearslong illegal activity, clean up its broken business practices, redress its victims, and pay penalties.”

TransUnion is one of the three national credit reporting agencies along with Equifax and Experian. It collects information on more than 200 million Americans, including information on their payment histories, debt loads, maximum credit limits, names and addresses of current creditors, and other elements of their credit relationships. In 2022, its revenue rose 25% to $3.71 billion.