XPN MIXED FILE MANUAL AND TRAINING

Names, Types, Descriptions, Testimony
David A. Szwak

XPN MIXED FILE MANUAL AND TRAINING

Postby David A. Szwak » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:04 pm

162
21 Q. What is the difference, in terms of training and
22 experience, between people in the mixed file department and
23 your -- I guess what we would call the bullpen employees,
24 the regular CRS representatives?
25 A. I never referred to them as bullpen, but --

163
1 Q. That's a term that Dan McLoon offered me, so I'm
2 using what I thought was a term of art.
3 A. There is a -- more of an analytical training.
4 They are trained to spot variations of social security
5 numbers, addresses and -- so it's just a higher degree of
6 awareness.
7 Q. Are they normally employees who have been there
8 for a longer period of time?
9 A. Usually, they don't train an employee until
10 they've at least been on the floor for six months to a
11 year. But they're not necessarily -- it's probably more in
12 tune to the personality of the employee and how analytical
13 they are.
14 Q. Are there special manuals or training policies and
15 procedures provided them on how to handle matters?
16 A. Miners?
17 Q. Matters.
18 A. I'm sorry. Mixed file -- there is a mixed file
19 procedure manual.
20 Q. How thick is that manual?
21 A. It's not very thick.
22 Q. A few pages?
23 A. Depends on what you mean by "a few." It's
24 probably --
25 Q. The whole manual?

164
1 A. -- less than 20.
2 Q. About 20 pages?
3 A. Less than 20, I would say.
4 Q. If you don't mind, if I could please get a copy of
5 that manual. I don't know that -- I may have it. I may
6 not. But I certainly wouldn't want to use an old copy
7 unless your counsel agreed to it. So if you don't mind, I
8 would greatly appreciate it.
9 A. Okay.

David A. Szwak

Postby David A. Szwak » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:13 pm

171
1 Q. Are there any manuals or written policies or
2 procedures here in Allen, Texas, with regard to why files
3 may be assigned separate PIN numbers, separate file
4 numbers; and yet when inquiries are made, those files merge
5 together -- other than the 20-page document that you
6 described for me, the mixed file department manual?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Have you seen any internal memos or discussions
9 about the -- the sources or cause of the merged file
10 problem where it involves consumers, such as Mr. Jensen,
11 who may have a common name, and yet there are two different
12 social security numbers not within seven of nine digits and
13 different addresses, between the consumers that are being
14 merged together?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Other than what you've told me today, have there
17 been any -- any other discussions at Experian about this
18 problem and how to cure it?
19 A. There's always discussions about mixed files and
20 system updates.
21 Q. Do you think that the problem would be cured, in
22 your opinion from what you know, if Experian required their
23 subscribers to input complete information? Do you think it
24 would eliminate this type of merged file problem?
25 A. I think there's a lot of variables that enter into

172
1 the mixed file arena, so I don't know if that would be in
2 and of itself the total solution.
3 Q. What type of variables do you feel like exist that
4 create this problem?
5 A. Well, there again, I'm -- I'm not a systems
6 person.
7 Q. But you've reviewed a large number of these mixed
8 file problems that -- that come into existence, haven't
9 you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Tell me what your personal opinion is. What is it
12 that you see in handling these files?
13 A. I think if everyone was consistent in the
14 information they give both the creditor and the consumer,
15 it would help.
16 Q. Okay. Did you find inconsistencies in what the
17 plaintiff provided his creditors?
18 A. I don't -- I don't know what the plaintiff
19 provided his creditors. I don't have --
20 Q. He consistently afforded them the same social
21 security number being his true social, right?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Did you find any variation on his part?
24 A. In asking for his credit report, we found none.
25 But I don't know what he provides his credit grantors.

173
1 Q. I understand. I'm just asking you from what you
2 saw in the file at Experian: Did you ever find an instance
3 where the plaintiff in this case used a different social
4 security number or even had a typographical error by a
5 creditor on his true social?
6 A. Not in -- in our credit report, no.
7 Q. So are we safe to assume that, from what your
8 records indicate, the plaintiff always used his appropriate
9 social security number?
10 A. No. I don't know, David. I know that when he
11 requested his credit report, he did. I can't say what he's
12 done when he applies for credit.
13 Q. Do you believe that Mr. Jensen always listed his
14 address correctly as shown in your records?
15 A. I think if -- his current address, he always
16 listed that one when he pulled a -- or requested a copy of
17 his credit report.
18 Q. Did you find that he consistently used his
19 truthful name? In essence, he didn't use a nickname in
20 applying for credit?
21 A. We -- there again, I don't know what he did in
22 applying for credit. I just know that when he requested a
23 copy of his credit report from us he was consistent.
24 Q. Okay. You didn't find him to -- to use variations
25 which might impact the matching process?

174
1 A. Not when he requested his credit report.
2 Q. Do you all have a large number of these mixed file
3 problems?
4 A. I don't know how you would quantify a large
5 number. They do happen. We don't like it, but they do
6 happen.
7 Q. Let me ask you if this is true or not true since
8 I've seen this myself. There are hundreds of boxes in the
9 caged area at Experian containing mixed files just for
10 one-year period, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Those hundreds of boxes contain hundreds of files?
13 A. I don't know if there's hundreds of boxes. I -- I
14 know that each box contains multiple files. But I don't --
15 I'm not sure if there's hundreds. That might be
16 overstating it.
17 Q. These are banker boxes, which are roughly a yard
18 long by 18 inches wide?
19 A. That's true.
20 Q. How long do you retain mixed file records?
21 A. We now retain them for 27 months.
22 Q. 27 months?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But in the past, wasn't it required to keep them
25 for a longer period of time?

175
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What was -- tell me the circumstances under which
3 that occurred.
4 A. The FTC asked us to keep our file retention on
5 mixed files for five years.
6 Q. Why was that?
7 A. It was a direction that they had, based on the
8 information that they received.
9 Q. Was it a Federal Trade Commission probe, or were
10 there actual charges involved?
11 A. I believe it involved a consent decree in 1991.
12 But I don't know all the ins and outs of that. That was
13 before I got here.
14 Q. Have you ever reviewed that consent decree?
15 A. I've looked at it. I haven't studied it.
16 Q. Do you feel that the handling of Mr. Jensen's
17 file, from the matching process all the way through the
18 reinvestigation process, is consistent with the mandates of
19 the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Federal Trade
20 Commission consent decree?
21 A. I -- yes.
22 MR. Szwak: That's all the questions I've
23 got.

David A. Szwak

Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:42 am

1
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
IN AND FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
2
3 LARRY E. CARRIERE, II *
*
4 V. * Civil Action No.
* CV03-1340-S
5 EXPERIAN INFORMATION *
SOLUTIONS *
6
7
8
9
10 ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF
11 SHANNON LEE STAFFORD
12 JUNE 8, 2004
13
14
15
16
17 ORAL AND VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF SHANNON LEE
18 STAFFORD, produced as a witness at the instance of the
19 Plaintiff, taken in the above-styled and numbered cause on
20 the 8th day of June, 2004, at 9:57 a.m., before Frances M.
21 Blacha, a Certified Shorthand Reporter in and for the State
22 of Texas, reported by machine shorthand, in the offices of
23 Jones Day, 2727 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, Texas 75201, in
24 the City of Dallas, County of Dallas and State of Texas, in
25 accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

77
1 Q Well, let's talk first about just a normal
2 employee in the reinvestigation division. Do they receive
3 that type of written directive?
4 A They're asked to review if there are any Social
5 Security number variations.
6 Q But I'm asking you specifically about keypunch
7 considerations where the number might be next to one another
8 on a keypad or be in sequence.
9 A Not specifically. They may show -- the manual
10 may show examples.
11 Q Okay. What about in the mixed file department --
12 MR. McLOON: Excuse me. I'm sorry. It
13 looked to me like you hadn't finished. Did you finish?
14 A Well, the training manual may show examples of
15 variations that may show where maybe two digits were off or
16 something along those lines, but I don't have those examples
17 offhand.
18 Q Okay. Now, what about in fraud and mixed
19 training, do they get a little extra help in understanding
20 this type of issue?
21 A Well, that's what I was referring to was the
22 mixed manual.
23 Q Okay. Now, the mixed manual is not something
24 that's provided to all of the reinvestigation employees;
25 correct?

78
1 A Right.
2 Q That's a subset of employees that specifically
3 deal with mixed files or fraud cases; correct?
4 A Right.
5 Q Now --
6 MR. McLOON: At some point in the next five
7 to ten minutes, could we look for a five-minute break?
8 Q Now, other than -- other than this one dispute
9 that we've identified -- I'm sorry -- not dispute. You
10 called it an update.


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