Data Breach at Debt Collection Company Exposes Personal Info of Millions
The Bend Bulletin published an article this week outlining a major security breach at one of the largest debt collection companies in the country, potentially exposing the personal information of over 3 million people to undesirable actors and putting unsuspecting consumers at risk.
The piece covers Receivable Performance Management and the lawsuits it now faces from plaintiffs across the country over alleged violations of laws for both inadequate data protection measures as well as failure to timely notify potentially affected people after the breach occurred. The article provides both an overview of the incident and helpful advice to those who might be affected.
Data breaches at debt collection companies are important for the obvious reason of identity theft and the potentially disastrous consequences that can have on a person, but another important consequence of a data breach arises when a debt collection company sues a consumer over an alleged debt. Debt collectors often sue alleged debtors en masse using data files they've purchased from other debt collectors or the original creditors (e.g., credit card companies). The integrity of these data files is integral to a debt collector being able to prove its case and prevail in any legal action. In situations in which the data files have been stolen, potentially manipulated, or otherwise spent time outside the chain of custody of the debt collector or the prior owners of the data, there is a very strong legal defense to the admissibility and validity of these data files. Without those data files, debt collectors almost always have no chance at a successful case against the alleged debtor.
Data breaches at debt collection companies are just one of many reasons why consumers should seek legal assistance in defending against lawsuits filed by debt collectors. A lawyer will be able to advise and contest the evidence offered by debt collectors, and in a situation like this, a lawyer might help a client discover that their personal information has been compromised by a debt collector, potentially making it possible for them to join a class action lawsuit against the debt collector or otherwise seek an advantageous alternative settlement.
You can read the entire article in the Bend Bulletin here.