ATLANTA - Small business owners have filed a class action lawsuit against Equifax trying to prevent financial ruin amid the massive security breach.
The complaint, filed in Atlanta federal court Tuesday, insists small business owners are particularly vulnerable because the creditworthiness of the business is dependent upon the creditworthiness of its owner.
"I felt like no one was looking out for the small business owner's interest in all of this. No one will give me a loan based on the business books, they are going to want to check my credit as an individual," Attorney Justin Odell said.
Odell stepped out on faith and took out a line of credit five years ago to start his own Marietta law firm. Then in January, the attorney branched out into commercial real estate when he bought some property to lease out. Attorney Odell said business owners cannot freeze their business credit free of charge like consumers. He said they face much more uncertainty.
Attorney Jason Doss as filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of the estimated 28 million small business owners in America.
"Our phones are already ringing off the hook," Doss confirms.
The complaint notes about 60 percent of small businesses use loans to finance their operations.
The lawsuit alleges that Equifax unduly put small business owners at risk in terms of the cost of Equifax business reports, the availability of credit and exposure to business identity theft.
The lawsuit seeks to recover damages and legal costs.