Experian Mixed File Manuals and Training

Father-Son, Mother-Daughter, Junior-Senior-Trey [Generational Designators], Common Names, Variations on Social Security Numbers and Other Mixed File Issues
David A. Szwak

Experian Mixed File Manuals and Training

Postby David A. Szwak » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:16 pm

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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

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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.

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