Names, Types, Descriptions, Testimony
David A. Szwak


Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:31 pm

Plaintiff, *
4 *
vs. * CASE NO. 2:05CV75
5 *
Defendants. * JUDGE DAVIS
14 NOVEMBER 18, 2005
17 KAY HUGHES, produced as a witness at the instance of
18 the Plaintiff, taken in the above-styled and numbered
19 cause on the 18th day of November, 2005, from
20 10:23 a.m. to 4:28 p.m., before Frances M. Blacha, a
21 Certified Shorthand Reporter in and for the State of
22 Texas, reported by machine shorthand, in the offices of
23 Jones Day, 2727 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, Texas 75201,
24 in the City of Dallas, County of Dallas and State of

1 Texas, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil
2 Procedure.

14 Q Okay. Now, going back to Item Number 7, the
15 Discover account, I take it that once Discover
16 responded by way of the ACDV, Experian accepted
17 Discover's version of the account over Ms. Poulson's
18 version. Is that true?
19 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
20 A Well, Experian doesn't really take a side.
21 Experian is trying to report the factually accurate
22 information, so Experian would consider everything that
23 Ms. Poulson sent in, see if Ms. Poulson had provided
24 something that would override or show something other
25 than what the creditor had reported.

1 But because Discover is a reliable
2 source of information to Experian, when they send their
3 response back and it meets the verification criteria
4 that Experian has in place, Experian would remain the
5 information to file.
6 Q Okay. You've said a few things for me.
7 Based upon the results of this
8 reinvestigation, did -- I mean, would Experian consider
9 Ms. Poulson to have been an unreliable source or do you
10 take any position as to her reliability?
11 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
12 A Well, Ms. Poulson is not under contract with
13 Experian to have certain things in her possession in
14 order to verify what she is saying is more accurate
15 than what the creditor is saying.
16 We would, however, even though she's not
17 a contracting subscriber, take and review and consider
18 any documents that she had.
19 So we're not saying she's any less
20 reliable or any more reliable. We're trying to convey
21 the facts and then report the information that we
22 believe is accurate at that time.
23 Q What other documentation do you believe that
24 Ms. Poulson could have provided Experian, other than
25 what she provided in Exhibit 6, which would have

1 convinced Experian that she was correct about what she
2 was saying?
3 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
4 Q I can't really list for you documents.
5 Number one, since I don't work for the credit granting
6 or the subscriber side of the industry, I don't know
7 what all is available for her to have obtained or have
8 in her possession, and I certainly don't know what
9 additional documents she may have.
10 I can just say that anything that she
11 has that she feels that supports her position, Experian
12 would take that and consider it and review it. And if
13 it can't be used on its face, Experian would then
14 conduct further investigation with the reporting source
15 into the status of the account.
16 Q Okay. I'm not sure that we've gotten to what
17 I was asking about.
18 I'm trying to determine if Experian has
19 a policy about what documents it will accept from a
20 consumer on an ownership file or account ownership
21 issue that are acceptable pieces of proof, other than
22 an agreement by the lender that the consumer is correct
23 about file ownership or account ownership.
24 Do you know of any listing of documents
25 in an Experian policy or procedure manual that would

1 tell us what you-all consider to be adequate proof of
2 file ownership -- account ownership?
3 A I'm not aware of any listing of documents
4 that says A, B and C can be accepted for ownership,
5 again, because there are many types of documents. I
6 think it would probably be impossible to list and come
7 up with every scenario that could be accepted.
8 Experian does have in place procedures
9 to authenticate documents that are received and certain
10 requirements that if you receive said document and it
11 is sufficient or it does support the consumer's
12 position, if it has these certain elements, you're able
13 to use it over contacting a subscriber, and that is in
14 itself in place to prevent the acceptance of fraudulent
15 documentation.
16 Q Okay. If I understood your answer, you said,
17 number one, you don't know what the lender might have
18 in place to provide Ms. Poulson to then provide
19 Experian. Number two, you can't say what else
20 Ms. Poulson might independently have to be able to
21 provide your company. And, number three, Experian has
22 no listing of documents that it would look for or
23 expect in evaluating an account ownership situation.
24 Is that true?
25 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.

1 A Yes, that is true. The policy is to consider
2 and review and consider acceptance of any documentation
3 that the consumer would send. So there's no specific
4 list that includes or excludes certain type of
5 documents.
6 Q The documents that Ms. Poulson sent you
7 attached to Exhibit 6, would those be documents that
8 would be helpful to your evaluation of her disputes,
9 particularly as to the Discover account, given that the
10 other disputes resulted -- and we haven't yet gone over
11 Number 11 in the list -- but up to Number 10, it
12 appears that all of those were resolved in her favor
13 according to her version of the facts. Is that true?
14 MS. ANDREW: Did you mean Exhibit 7?
15 MR. Szwak: No. We're looking at
16 Exhibit 6.
17 Q Exhibit 6 is a dispute letter; correct?
18 A That's 7.
19 Q Okay. I'm sorry. Exhibit 7.
20 I mean, two questions. Number one, at
21 least from what we've gone over so far up to Number 10,
22 it appears Experian resolved each of her disputes in
23 her favor except the Discover Card account so far;
24 right?
25 A I don't know that I would say in her favor.

1 I would just say that the credit granters either agreed
2 with what she was stating or for some other reason, and
3 I can't tell you what reason they responded with just
4 delete account, but she was requesting deletion and it
5 appears that they did delete.
6 Q Okay. So the only account that we've looked
7 at so far that did not agree with her -- the creditor
8 did not agree with her was Discover; correct?
9 A The only creditor that did not give the
10 result that she was looking for was Discover so far
11 that we've looked at.
12 Q Now, if we look at the documents that she
13 attached to her dispute letter, were those documents
14 helpful to Experian's evaluation of her position as to
15 the Discover account?
16 A What I see in the documentation is, of
17 course, a copy of a credit report, which just shows
18 what's being reported. I see a copy of the letter that
19 Ms. Poulson sent to Experian in 2001 which didn't
20 contain anything about Discover.
21 There's a letter to Ms. Eckert from the
22 National Account Authorization Center, but it doesn't
23 appear to reference Discover. It appears to relate to
24 Sears.
25 With the exception of the last two

1 pages, the information is just disputes -- dispute
2 letters directly to the data furnishers. I'm trying to
3 even see if I see one for Discover.
4 MS. ANDREW: Amanda? Camille? Hello.
5 On the phone. Gabe? Is there anyone on the phone?
6 MR. Szwak: Okay. At this point we need
7 to turn the volume down on the phone.
8 MS. ANDREW: Could we go off the record?
9 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Off the record
10 approximately 11:37 a.m.
11 (Discussion off the record.)
12 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Back on the record
13 approximately 11:38 a.m.
14 A The next documents that I looked at in the
15 exhibit are 244 through 248. And we're still on
16 Exhibit 7. I don't see any of those exhibits that
17 pertain to a Discover account. And, again, those are
18 letters from Ms. Eckert that appear to be to creditors
19 -- be sent to creditors.
20 Q Okay.
21 A The final thing in the packet is a copy of a
22 decree of divorce indicating information about a final
23 hearing between Diana Davis Eckert and William Henry
24 Eckert.
25 Q Did Experian request a copy of the

1 application from Discover?
2 A No, it did not.
3 Q Did Experian request a copy of any
4 documentation suggesting or showing that Ms. Poulson
5 had any association with this account?
6 A Experian did require that Discover complete
7 its automated consumer dispute verification form with
8 information that was contained in its records, and in
9 that they did provide that to Experian that
10 Ms. Poulson's name and Social Security number were in
11 their records for this account.
12 Q Okay. My question is, did Experian ask
13 Discover to provide them a copy of anything showing
14 that Ms. Poulson had ever agreed to be associated with
15 this account?
16 A No, sir.
17 Q Okay. Now, a moment ago you mentioned that
18 Discover Card is a -- or Discover Financial Services is
19 considered a reliable source. Do you know how that
20 determination is made and whether there are audits
21 maintained on Discover's reportings?
22 A To that specific degree of your question, I
23 don't. Generically I can testify that our furnishers
24 of data are contracted furnishers of data, and pursuant
25 to that they have to meet certain requirements.

1 Q Do you have any knowledge as to what the
2 certification process is between Experian and Discover?
3 A No, sir, I don't.
4 Q You understand that they have to meet certain
5 requirements in order to become a furnisher; is that
6 true?
7 A I do, sir, but I don't know what those
8 certain requirements are.
9 Q Okay. Now, you -- in referring to them as a
10 reliable source, do you have any information about any
11 audit process to determine whether Experian has
12 information about the outcome of other disputes
13 regarding Discover reportings?
14 A Are you -- I'm sorry. I'm not sure what
15 you're asking.
16 Q Well, what I'm asking is, do you have any
17 knowledge about any audit of any Discover reportings in
18 terms of whether they're accurate, whether historically
19 they've had to have other data removed and to what
20 degree?
21 A No, sir, I wouldn't be aware of any of that
22 information.
23 Q Have you ever been shown any information
24 about what percentage of reportings by a particular
25 subscriber upon being disputed are removed as opposed

1 to retained?
2 A No, sir.
3 Q Okay. Well, when you called them a reliable
4 source, do you have any basis for referring to Discover
5 as a, quote, reliable source, end quote, other than
6 your general feeling that, well, they passed the
7 certification procedure or the certification
8 application with Experian, so they must be reliable?
9 A Not speaking personally, but as a
10 representative of Experian, I know Experian to consider
11 this company to be a reliable source -- a reliable
12 reporting source or it would not be carrying its data.
13 Q You generally hold that belief, but do you
14 have any specific knowledge about Discover?
15 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
16 A No, sir, because that wouldn't be in my
17 capacity of employment at Experian.
18 Q And, as I said before, you don't have any
19 knowledge about specific or general information about
20 Discover's accuracy rate in terms of historical
21 reportings to Experian, whether -- whether they're
22 reporting accurate information or inaccurate
23 information; is that true?
24 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
25 A Well, other than to again say that Experian

1 considers Discover to be a reliable reporting source.
2 Statistical data or any of that data, in my capacity at
3 Experian, I wouldn't be aware of that type of
4 information.
5 Q What about historically where account
6 ownership was contested, do you have any knowledge as
7 to Discover -- Discover Financial Services policies in
8 responding to disputes that involve account ownership?
9 A No, sir. I wouldn't be aware in any capacity
10 what Discover's policies are.
11 Q Discover, for example, has never promulgated
12 a rule with Experian that said, look, if a consumer
13 disputes account ownership, such as Ms. Poulson, that
14 we're going to disagree with them consistently? I
15 mean, you've never seen a policy like that promulgated
16 by Discover; right?
17 A No, sir.
18 Q And, to the contrary, you've never seen -- or
19 let me ask you, have you ever seen any type of policy
20 at Discover Financial Services with regard to account
21 ownership?
22 A Well, I wouldn't be aware of any policies at
23 Discover.
24 Q Now, when you referred to Discover as being
25 under contract with Experian, do you know whether

1 Discover purchases credit reports from Experian?
2 A I wouldn't know the nature of any contracts
3 that they have.
4 Q Okay. The nature of Experian's business
5 however is to sell credit reports to people who would
6 subscribe to their services; right?
7 A That is correct.
8 Q And, reciprocally, Experian would receive
9 information in the form of account information, a
10 commodity, from those subscribers, furnishers of data
11 such as Discover; is that true?
12 A I don't know if I would go with the in
13 reciprocal. Those are two different -- those are two
14 different avenues. Experian has furnishers of data,
15 and that is not contingent upon if the company also
16 wants to purchase credit reports from Experian.
17 Experian has companies that are furnishers, Experian
18 has companies who just pull and receive credit reports,
19 and Experian has companies that do both.
20 Q Okay. Do you know whether Experian pays
21 Discover for the data that they receive pertaining to
22 Discover account holders?
23 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
24 A No, sir, I don't.
25 Q Okay. Do you know whether Discover pays

1 Experian for credit reports that it might access?
2 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
3 A Specifically, no, I'm not privy to any
4 contractual information.
5 Q All right. Now, that takes us logically to
6 our next step, which is the last item, Number 11, on
7 the dispute letter, Exhibit 7. I did not see a CDV or
8 ACDV pertaining to the Sears account, and I was going
9 to ask you if you might have information about what
10 happened in that dispute.
11 A Yes. She indicated that that account --
12 well, let me read it so I don't get it wrong -- that a
13 company was contacted and asked to remove her name as
14 an authorized user in 2001 and that it should read
15 individual only to her ex-husband.
16 The account was reporting a Code 3,
17 which is an authorized user, and it is Experian's
18 internal policy that if a consumer disputes an account
19 that they're not liable for the account and the company
20 is reporting them as an authorized user, Experian will
21 just remove that from the consumer's file versus
22 contacting the creditor to verify.
23 Q Does that mean that you-all will suppress the
24 account from the consumer's report or is it a deletion
25 of the account?

1 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
2 A Experian's deletions are all suppressions.
3 They're soft deletes. So it would no longer display on
4 a credit report for her.
5 Q Okay. Now, that is true unless there is a
6 bypass of the suppression function; is that true?
7 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
8 A I'm not really aware of bypassing the
9 suppression function. In the National Consumer
10 Assistance Center when information such as this is
11 changed on a credit report, it follows the procedure of
12 being soft deleted.
13 Q Is it true that there are occasions when an
14 item is soft deleted yet it reinserts into a consumer's
15 credit report?
16 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form. It goes
17 outside the scope of this witness.
18 MR. Szwak: It's a reinvestigation
19 issue, so I want to ask her if she's aware of it in
20 reinvestigation.
21 MS. ANDREW: If the witness can answer.
22 But this really goes more toward the computer
23 technicalities, and that would be someone else, not
24 Ms. Hughes.
25 Q Do you have any knowledge of that issue?

1 A Well, there are occasions where information
2 is soft deleted because the company does not respond in
3 a timely manner, and they are able to come back and
4 respond after the 30 days. And Experian can then --
5 after properly notifying the consumer of reinsertion of
6 the data, can remove the soft delete and reinsert that
7 information back into the consumer's report.
8 Q So you have seen instances where, pursuant to
9 the Fair Credit Reporting Act reinsertion rule, that
10 the creditor responds late, in essence, beyond the 30
11 days allowed, but then there is a reinsertion notice
12 sent to the consumer by Experian. Is that true?
13 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
14 A Yes, sir.
15 Q I mean, that's part of the work you do at the
16 NCAC; is that true?
17 A Yes, sir.
18 Q Now, other than the occasions when there is a
19 manual override by Experian where you manually go in
20 and either remove a soft delete flag, have you in your
21 reinvestigation ever seen a soft delete in place on an
22 account but yet the consumer is complaining that the
23 account has been reinserted in their credit file
24 despite the existence of a soft delete flag?
25 A I have seen the occasion where the consumer

1 is alleging that an account has reappeared, but in my
2 experience it turns out to be a different account that
3 was reported to Experian.
4 Q When you say a different account, would that
5 be a change in the account number or a change in the
6 subscriber code or a change in the date open field?
7 MS. ANDREW: Objection, form.
8 A It can be many changes. There are a lot of
9 key data elements on an account that are different when
10 a new account is reported.
11 Q I take it that you do not have any knowledge
12 about which data fields, if altered in a suppressed
13 account, will cause an account to perhaps reappear in
14 the file appearing as a different account?
15 A Specifically the mathematical formula, no, I
16 don't.
17 Q Okay. Do you have any knowledge as to
18 whether, if a lender changes an account number, if that
19 account will reinsert and bypass a suppression of the
20 same account?
21 A My understanding of that process is that it's
22 not just the account number that's looked at. You
23 have, for instance, the account number, the account
24 status, the account condition, the amount of the
25 account, the balance on the account. My understanding

1 of that process is that all of the data elements are
2 compared by the system.
3 Q You believe that in a bypass -- in a
4 suppression bypass evaluation that all of the data
5 elements are considered? That's your general
6 understanding?
7 A Yes, that's my understanding.
8 Q Okay. All right. Now, do you believe that
9 Experian would have removed the Sears account that was
10 complained about by Ms. Poulson in Exhibit 7?
11 A Yes, sir, our records indicate that the
12 account was removed.
13 Q And what is the account number that she
14 complained about?
15 A She truncates and then, excuse me, lists
16 4825.
17 Q Are you able to identify the full account
18 number based upon the D/R log or Exhibit 6, the credit
19 report?
20 A I can discern that from the D/R log.
21 Q Okay. Could you please read us that full
22 account number just so we have it in the record,
23 please?
24 A Its 5121071811734825.
25 Q Do you believe that that account ever

1 appeared in any of her credit reports after Experian
2 would have suppressed it as a result of the dispute in
3 Exhibit 7?
4 A I did not review any of the credit reports to
5 make a determination either way.

Return to “Experian Secret Documents”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests