WASHINGTON -- Credit rating company Equifax Information Services has agreed to pay $393,000 to settle federal allegations that it improperly sold information about millions of homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.
Some of the information was sold to Direct Lending Source Inc., a Florida company, which resold the data to third parties that used it to pitch mortgage modification and debt relief services to the people, the FTC said.
Some of those third-party firms "have been the subject of law enforcement investigations," the FTC said. Direct Lending Source agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle the allegations.
From 2008 to early 2010, Equifax, one of the three leading credit rating firms, produced 17,000 pre-screened lists containing information about millions of delinquent homeowners. The lists included sensitive information, such as people's credit scores, and whether they were 30, 60, or 90 days late on their mortgage payments, the FTC said.