Fifth Third mistakenly reports bankruptcy filings for customers

Fifth Third Bank. (WDTN Photo)
Fifth Third Bank. (WDTN Photo)

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – A regional bank admits to a mistake that could have impacted the credit score of some of its customers.

Fifth Third Bank admits that it mistakenly told four credit reporting agencies that some of its customers filed for bankruptcy when they didn’t.  2 NEWS Investigates found the problem was discovered months ago and customers are just now being told about it.

Betty Conley from Xenia received a letter from Fifth Third Bank this week and she can’t believe what it said.

“We inadvertently reported that you filed bankruptcy to the following credit bureau reporting agencies.”

Experian, TransUnion, Equifax, and Innovis were all told she filed for bankruptcy when Conley says that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“How can they do this when I had never even thought of bankruptcy?”

Conley said her credit score has been solid and this news is startling.

“I’m thinking what has this done?” said Conley, “If I should come to the point where I need to borrow some money and I don’t have to credit to do so.”

People who file for bankruptcy can have trouble buying a car, starting a business and can even have an increase in their insurance rates.  That’s because some banks believe it’s a risk to loan them money.

“This was indeed a shock,” said Conley.

I called Fifth Third Bank about it and Public Relations Representative Jeff Kursman told me the problem occurred during a system change in October, was discovered in November and fixed in December.  A letter was sent out to customer last week, months later.

2 NEWS Investigates asked why it took that long.  Kursman said he has no explanation to share at this time.

The public relations department for the bank refused any on-camera interviews, but they did tell us they regret this mistake and are working to make sure it will not happen again.

They also said all credit reporting agencies have been notified and the problem corrected, but Conley is still upset.

“They are just messing with my account.  They are just messing with my money,” said Conley.

She wants more documentation that proves her credit score has not been impacted before she makes a decision about continuing to bank with Fifth Third.

“Basically it’s my account that I have there and if they do this once, something else could happen,” said Conley.

Fifth Third is not releasing the exact number of customers impacted. They will only say it’s a “limited” amount. They also tell us impacted customers who had any previous credit issues in the past few months can use their letter as proof of the mistake and the fix.
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