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Published: October 2016
More can be done to protect immigrant victims of Wells Fargo’s fraud
Consumer Action joined consumer and civil rights groups in pressuring credit bureaus to give immigrant victims of the Wells Fargo fake account scandal free copies of credit reports in their native languages so they can dispute any fraudulent accounts. In a coalition letter to Experian, TransUnion, Equifax, Early Warning Services and FIS, advocates asked that the reports be made available, at a minimum, in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Russian, Arabic and Haitian Creole.
Wells Fargo customers affected by the bank’s recent scandal have been advised to check their credit reports for unauthorized accounts and any associated unpaid balances, and to dispute them with the credit bureaus. Under the circumstances, Wells Fargo customers are entitled to free reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. However, in a letter sent to six credit bureaus, advocates warned that many of the people affected by the scandal reportedly are immigrants with limited English proficiency who otherwise may not review their reports because of the language barrier, putting them at risk of fraud and damaged credit. At a minimum, advocates are requesting the reports be made available in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Russian, Arabic and Haitian Creole.
The coalition letter also asked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to require the credit bureaus to provide the free, translated reports upon request.
National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
Americans for Financial Reform | Consumer Action | Consumers Union | Demos | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National CAPACD | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income consumers) | National Council of La Raza | U.S. PIRG
For more information, please visit NCLC's website.
More can be done to protect immigrant victims of Wells Fargo’s fraud (WellsFargoLEPletter.pdf)