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Sensitive documents found in Cleveland dumpster

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

A loan company is trying to determine how boxes of sensitive customer information ended up in a Cleveland dumpster.

A man discovered more than a thousand pages of credit applications, checks, and other information that could have fallen in the wrong hands.

Jason Owens says he was throwing away trash at a secured storage complex Tuesday when he noticed four boxes containing hundreds of documents with sensitive information.

“I think someone was cleaning out their storage locker and this was an easy place to throw it,” Owens said.

The boxes belonged to Heights Finance in Cleveland, a company which hands out personal loans. 

Owens tells Channel 3 he contacted the local Height Financial branch and the manager told him his staff recently cleaned out a unit at the storage facility.
“They asked if I could bring it back to him and I told him I couldn't I don't trust him not to throw it in another dumpster. It’s a lot of information you're trusting these companies to deal with and they're just tossing it in the dumpster,” Owens said.

Owens said, within an hour two agents from the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions met him and, picked up the documents.

Heights Finance issues Channel 3 this statement:

   “We are currently investigating this matter and are in touch with the appropriate authorities.

Heights Finance has industry leading safeguards in place to protect customer data and privacy, and will continue working to ensure all personal or confidential information remains protected.

If it is determined that any customer information was compromised, we will notify affected parties immediately and take all necessary actions to protect their information.

­­­If it is determined that any policies or procedures were not followed, those issues will be handled appropriately.”


The Better Business Bureau said this is a clear violation of privacy and anyone who believes they could be affected should contact the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, and/or Heights Finance Corporation.

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