Experian and CoreLogic Inc. have been named in a suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for alleged violations of the antitrust laws. The suit, filed by mortgage credit reporting agency Credit Bureau Services Inc. of Oakland Park, Fla., claims that Experian and CoreLogic sought to deny smaller credit agencies access to Experian's mortgage credit information for "tri-merged" mortgage credit reports. Banks and investors require tri-merged reports to extend credit for home mortgages. The complaint seeks damages and injunctive relief.
According to the suit, Experian and CoreLogic were partners in the Credco mortgage credit reporting business in early 2008 when Experian "agreed to eliminate up to 87 percent of CoreLogic's rivals" is exchange for CoreLogic's help to "maintain Experian's monopoly in mortgage credit information ..." The suit claims that the number of qualified mortgage credit reporting agencies has declined nationwide from over 1,500 at the beginning of the century to fewer than 100 today.
"Independent credit reporting agencies like my client can no longer compete, not because they are not efficient, but because Experian and CoreLogic conspired to drive them out of the market," said Jonathan Rubin of the Washington, D.C.-based Rubin PLLC who represents the plaintiff. "This is an astonishing violation of the antitrust laws."
Credit Bureau Services Inc. has also asked the court to certify the case as a class action on behalf of "all mortgage credit report resellers separated from Experian" as a result of the violation.