Credit Report Errors Still Plague Woman
Turner, Kevin, The Florida Times Union
Byline: KEVIN TURNER
YULEE - Although a jury awarded Angela Williams $2.9 million in damages from Equifax, one of the nation's three largest credit reporting bureaus, in November, errors in her credit report still haunt her.
"I'm hesitant to apply for credit because I don't know what's on there," Williams said Jan. 11. "I'm a good person. I pay my bills. I should have good credit, but because of what's gone on with Equifax, I'm unable to take advantage of it."
Williams said the company now claims that her credit report is repaired, but a lot of damage has been done over the last 13 years due to errors that wouldn't go away.
Equifax, headquartered in Atlanta, maintains records on virtually all Americans who have credit. In a 2003 suit, Williams claimed the company scrambled her credit record with those of another person who lived in Florida and who had a similar name and Social Security number.
The trouble started in 1995, when she noticed several credit accounts that weren't hers on her credit report. She disputed them and had them removed, but they later reappeared.
Over the next eight years, her credit history got worse and worse. Her 12 years of appeals began to fall on deaf ears, she said.
"By 2003, there was something like 21 accounts that weren't mine," she said.
Williams decided she'd had enough and hired attorney Steve Fahlgren, now also Hilliard's town attorney, and another attorney who also specializes in consumer cases.
She filed a lawsuit in September 2003 in an Orlando circuit court saying the mix-up and Equifax's failure to fix it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fahlgren said. …