* Equifax says it admits to no wrongdoing
* Equifax pays $393,000; Direct Lending $1.2 million
* FTC has filed 40 cases against mortgage rescue scams
By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON, Oct 10 Consumer credit rating
company Equifax Inc has agreed to pay $393,000 to settle
allegations that it improperly sold information on consumers who
had fallen behind on their mortgages, the Federal Trade
Commission said on Wednesday.
Equifax Information Services LLC improperly sold 17,000 such
lists of consumer information to Direct Lending Source, which
turned around and sold them to companies under investigation for
allegedly duping consumers with mortgage rescue scams, the FTC
Direct Lending Source agreed to pay a $1.2 million civil
Equifax ended its business relationship with Direct Lending
Source and its affiliates in the summer of 2011, said Equifax
spokesman Tim Klein.
"We reached an agreement with the FTC regarding issues they
brought to our attention regarding Direct Lending, which was a
former customer of Equifax," Klein said. "As part of this
settlement we did not and do not admit to any wrongdoing."
Direct Lending Source could not be located for a comment. It
does not appear to have a website and a telephone number listed
as belonging to the company has been disconnected.
In the past several years, the FTC has filed more than 40
cases against companies that promise mortgage relief services
but fail to deliver, the agency said.