Five Southern California home lenders improperly tapped into the personal financial information of some customers seeking loans through LendingTree Inc., according to a lawsuit filed this week by the Internet mortgage broker.
The suit, filed Monday in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that two former executives of LendingTree, which matches prospective home buyers with lenders, swiped customer passwords and gave the lenders unauthorized access to consumer information.
The former executives were not named as defendants in the suit.
LendingTree sent letters Monday to some of its customers alerting them to the potential identity theft. The letter was sent to customers who submitted loan-qualification data between October 2006 and early this year. It recommends that they obtain a free copy of their credit report and check for any suspicious activity.
LendingTree, a unit of IAC/InterActive Corp., declined to say how many warnings it sent out. But one person familiar with the case said anyone who had used the site during the period of improper access was warned. That could be millions of people, based on the 23 million applications the company says it has processed since 1998.