Mortgage Daily Logo
mortgage news from industry experts

Public Filing Contained Private Data

Public Filing Contained Private DataCredit Suisse settles with CA for $500,000

July 2, 2007


Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage Securities Corp. has paid $500,000 in penalties for disclosing the personal information of more than 1,000 borrowers in a public filing.

The investment banker agreed to the payment in civil penalties and costs and attorneys’ fees for disclosing on the Internet the social security numbers and other personal information of mortgage borrowers on 1,224 California properties.

It also agreed on Wednesday to enhance its security procedures and its employee training programs to ensure the protection of its clients’ nonpublic information, according to San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

“This settlement sends a clear message to business: if you fail to protect the privacy of your customers, you will be held accountable,” she said.

The disclosures occurred around March 15, 2006, when it was “included in an exhibit attached to Defendant’s 8-K filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which was thereafter posted by the SEC on its Website,” according to Harris’ June 27 filing in San Francisco Superior Court. “At no time did any of said property owners consent to the public disclosure of this information.”

The penalties, which were paid on June 27, included $400,000 in civil penalties and $100,000 in costs and attorneys’ fees.

The disclosure thus occurred “in violation of state and federal law,” the complaint further states.

“The people, the customers who were affected in this case, have all been contacted,” Assistant District Attorney June D. Cravett, who handled the business tort civil case against Credit Suisse, told, and, she said, there was never any indication that the personal information had been used for criminal purposes.

Because the SEC merely posted the information to its Web site as part of the filing it had received, as it posts all filings it receives, Cravett said, “I don’t think the SEC can be held accountable for the content of the filings. That would be an enormous burden to place on that agency.”

A Credit Suisse agent unintentionally included the personal information in an exhibit that was attached to the SEC filing, she explained.

“Once Credit Suisse became aware of the situation they were quite diligent in taking the steps necessary to put into place procedures to make sure something like this didn’t happen again,” she said. “And they cooperatively worked with us to make sure the information that was disclosed was removed from every possible Internet link and database. That was of key importance.”

While Credit Suisse did not respond to requests for statements, they did issue a statement saying, “We took immediate action once we learned of this inadvertent disclosure and we continue to strengthen our internal policies and procedures to protect the privacy of our customers and clients.”

Credit Suisse is scheduled to be back in San Francisco Superior Court on November 30.


Jerry DeMuth is an award winning journalist who has been reporting for four decades.

e-mail Jerry at

next story

back to current headlines

Popular posts

How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage
How Long Does It Take to Refinance a Mortgage

So, you’re interested in refinancing your mortgage. Maybe you want some extra capital to do that home project you’ve always dreamed of, interest rates are nearing record lows, or you want to start consolidating debt. Regardless of the motivation behind the refinance,...

How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work
How Does Refinancing a Mortgage Work

A home purchase is considered an investment, and a robust one at that. Savvy owners are constantly looking for new ways to reduce debt, save money, pay less in interest, and ultimately build equity. Refinancing is one way to leverage your investment and do just that....

What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home
What Does It Mean to Refinance Your Home

You can think of refinancing your mortgage as a debt redo. Essentially, you’ll swap out the existing loan for a new one - ideally with better terms and conditions. Only this time it could help you save money on high mortgage payments, rather than just borrow it....

Setting up the Utilities in My New House
Setting up the Utilities in My New House

All the tedious, time-consuming home closing documents have been signed, sealed, and delivered. Your belongings are packed into what seems like a million boxes and you have a solid plan to haul all your existing furniture to the new place. Just as your boxes and...

When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?
When Is My First Mortgage Payment Due?

Navigating your way through a brand new mortgage loan can be a difficult task, especially for first time homeowners. After handing over a large sum of money for the down payment and closing costs, it’s important to pay attention to the timing of your first mortgage...


Don’t worry, we don’t spam

calculate your monthly mortgage payment

Related Topics

Helpful Links

Daily mortgage rate trends

Best mortgage lenders

First-time homebuyers programs by state

Loan limits by state

Types of mortgages

APR vs interest rate

Understanding PMI

Related Posts