PA Complaint Against Multiple Providers for Incorrectly Filing A Foreclosure Lawsuit, Reporting Derogatory and Inaccurate Information on Credit Reports

September 28th, 2012 by krista

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

 JANE DOE,  

          Plaintiff,

 

          v.

 

EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC, EXPERIAN   INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC., LEXISNEXIS RISK DATA RETRIEVAL SERVICES LLC,  and BANK OF AMERICA , N.A.

           

          Defendants.                                    

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  Civil Action No. 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINT

  1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer against Defendants for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.as amended and state law claims.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  1. Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1681p and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
  2. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff is an adult individual residing in Pennsylvania.
  2. Defendant, Equifax Information Services LLC (“Equifax”) is a business entity which regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and has a principal place of business located at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, New Jersey 08026.
  3. Defendant, Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (hereafter “Experian”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 5 Century Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.
  4. Defendant, LexisNexis Risk Data Retrieval Services LLC (“Lexis”) is a business entity that provides background screening services, decisions-making intelligence, and operates as a consumer reporting agency and furnisher of credit information.  Lexis regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and has a principal place of business at 1000 Alderman Drive, Alpharetta, GA, 30005.
  5. Defendant, Bank of America, N.A., (“Bank of America”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and has a principal place of business at 1600 JFK Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

Defendants Experian and Equifax have been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit history to third parties (“inaccurate information”).

  1. The inaccurate information includes a judgment purporting to be against Plaintiff personally in the amount of $175,000.
  2. Unbeknownst to Plaintiff,  Bank of America, filed foreclosure lawsuit against Plaintiff  on or about March 17, 2012  falsely alleging that Plaintiff was in possession of a property that she had previously surrendering in bankruptcy and whose mortgage was discharged in bankruptcy.  Accordingly, Plaintiff had no association, affiliation, monetary obligations or ownership interest in the property at the time the lawsuit was filed and should not have been named in the foreclosure lawsuit in any respect.
  3. Bank of America  lacked probable cause to file the lawsuit because Defendants knew or should have known that Plaintiff has surrendered the property in bankruptcy and had her mortgage discharged in the bankruptcy as well.
  4. Plaintiff further advised Bank of America of the same after the lawsuit was filed. Bank of America, however, took no steps to discontinue the action.   On the contrary, Bank of America proceeded with the action to obtain a judgment of foreclosure identifying Plaintiff as the possessor of the property.
  5. Bank of America’s filing of the lawsuit served no purpose other than to harass Plaintiff particularly after Plaintiff advised Bank of America of the error wherein no action to discontinue the proceedings were taken by Bank of America
  6. The inaccurate information reporting on Plaintiff’s credit reports is not directly derived from government records or court dockets.  The original supplier of this inaccurate information to Equifax and Experian was Lexis, or Lexis’ corporate predecessor and/or its contractors.  Lexis or its corporate predecessor through its contractors obtains select information from court and government records, not the complete or actual public records, and then molds and fabricates that select information into the format which it sells to Equifax, Experian and other third parties to be placed upon consumer credit reports.
  7. The actual public record relating to this judgment at issue in this case states that the judgment is an in rem judgment against real property that is not even  owned or possessed  by Plaintiff any longer.
  8. Nevertheless, Equifax and Experian are inaccurately reporting the record as a judgment against the Plaintiff personally.  This judgment should never have been included on Plaintiff’s credit file and reports.
  9. Lexis continues to report inaccurate information, as it has not updated the select information that it compiles and sells about Plaintiff with the judgment entered against the Plaintiff, and it instead continues to inaccurately report and verify the incorrect judgment to Equifax, Experian and/or other third parties.
  10. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Equifax and Experian respectively, by following Equifax’s and Experian’s established procedures for disputing consumer credit information, beginning in or around October 2011.
  11. Further, Lexis, as the original supplier and as a credit furnisher of this information, was advised of Plaintiff’s disputes through Equifax and Experian.  Despite these disputes, Lexis failed to investigate and correct the inaccurate judgment within 30 days as required by the FCRA.  To the contrary, both Lexis, Equifax and Experian verified as purportedly accurate the judgment and left it on Plaintiff’s credit reports.
  12. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Equifax and Experian have sent Plaintiff correspondence indicating its intent to continue publishing the inaccurate information and Equifax and Experian continues to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors.  Equifax and Experian  have repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least July 2011 through the present.
  13. The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon the Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s credit repayment history, Plaintiff’s financial responsibility as a taxpayer and Plaintiff’s creditworthiness.
  14. Defendants Lexis, Experian and Equifax have been reporting the inaccurate information through the issuance of false and inaccurate credit information and consumer reports that they have disseminated and resold to various persons, both known and unknown.
  15. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendants Equifax, Experian and Lexis have never: (1) contacted Plaintiff to follow up on, verify and/or elicit more specific information about Plaintiff’s disputes; (2) contacted any third parties that would have relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s disputes; or (3) forwarded any relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s disputes to the entities originally furnishing the inaccurate information.
  16. Despite Plaintiff’s exhaustive efforts to date, Defendants Experian, Equifax, and Lexis have nonetheless deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly and negligently repeatedly failed to perform reasonable investigations and/or reinvestigations of the above disputes as required by the FCRA, failed to remove the inaccurate information, failed to report on the results of their investigations and/or reinvestigations to all credit reporting agencies and continued to report the derogatory inaccurate information about Plaintiff.
  17. As of result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of (a) lost credit opportunities, (b) harm to credit reputation and credit score, and (c) emotional distress, including humiliation and embarrassment.
  18. At all times pertinent hereto, Defendants were acting by and through their agents, servants and/or employees who were acting within the course and scope of their agency or employment, and under the direct supervision and control of the Defendants herein.
  19. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of the Defendants, as well as that of their agents, servants and/or employees, was malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, and in grossly negligent disregard for federal and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.

COUNT ONE – EXPERIAN &  EQUIFAX

VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. At all times pertinent hereto, Equifax and Experian were “persons” and “consumer reporting agencies” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681a(b) and (f).
  3. At all times pertinent hereto, the Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).
  4. At all times pertinent hereto, the above-mentioned credit reports were “consumer reports” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681a(d).
  5. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681n and 15 U.S.C. § 1681o, Equifax and Experian are liable to the Plaintiff for willfully and negligently failing to prepare Plaintiff’s report by following procedures that assure maximum possible accuracy, in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b), and willfully and negligently failing to conduct a proper and reasonable reinvestigation concerning the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681i.
  6. The conduct of Equifax and Experian was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, actual damages and harm to the Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Equifax and Experian are liable to the Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorney’s fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.

COUNT TWO- LEXIS

VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. At all times pertinent hereto, Lexis was a “person” and a “consumer reporting agency” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681a(b) and (f), and also a “furnisher” of credit information.
  3. At all times pertinent hereto, Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).
  4. At all times pertinent hereto, the above-mentioned credit reports were “consumer reports” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(d).
  5. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681n and 15 U.S.C. § 1681o, Lexis is liable to the Plaintiff for willfully and negligently failing to conduct a proper and reasonable reinvestigation concerning the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681i, willfully and negligently failing to prepare Plaintiff’s report by following procedures that assure maximum possible accuracy in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b), and willfully and negligently failing to comply with the requirements imposed on furnishers of information pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b).
  6. The conduct of Lexis was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, actual damages and harm to the Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Lexis is liable to the Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorney’s fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.

COUNT THREE – BANK OF AMERICA

ABUSE OF PROCESS

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendant Bank of America instituted a civil proceeding against Plaintiff as stated more fully above.
  3. Thereafter, having knowledge that property was not in Plaintiff’s possession , but was in fact surrendered in bankruptcy, Bank of America in a knowing and wrongful manner proceeded to obtain a default judgment of foreclosure against Plaintiff as the possessor of the property thus causing substantial harm to Plaintiff’s reputation.
  4. Bank of America used the default proceeding in this manner for a wrongful purpose for which the proceedings were not designed to accomplish including but not limited to harassing Plaintiff and involuntarily forcing Plaintiff into paying for a debt which she no longer responsible to pay.
  5. Bank of America as such acted in a knowing, willful, reckless, malicious and/or grossly negligent manner for purposes other than adjudicating the claims for which the proceeding were  brought as described above.
  6. The conduct of Bank of America was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, damages and harm to Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above.
  7. Bank of America is thus liable to Plaintiff  for all actual and punitive damages as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.

JURY DEMAND

  1. Plaintiff demands trial by jury on all issues so triable.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff seeks judgment in Plaintiff’s favor and damages against the Defendants, based on the following requested relief:

(a)   Statutory damages;

(b)  Actual damages;

(c)   Punitive damages;

(d)  Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n and 1681o; and

(e)   Such other and further relief as may be necessary, just and proper.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.

BY:        /s/ Mark Mailman                            

MARK MAILMAN, ESQUIRE

GREGORY GORSKI, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

 Attorneys for Plaintiff


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