California Complaint Against Credit Reporting Agencies, Experian and Equifax. Complaint also Against Southern CA Edison Company

August 17th, 2012 by krista


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

 John Doe 

Plaintiff,

 v.

 EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.

and

EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC

and

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON, Co.

 

Defendants.

 

    Civil Action No.                                 

Complaint for Violations of Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

 

Demand for Jury Trial

 

 Preliminary Statement

  1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer against the Defendants for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., as amended and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Cal. Civ. Code § 1788 et seq. (“RFDCPA”).

Jurisdiction and Venue

  1. Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1681p and 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and supplemental jurisdiction exists for the state law claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
  2. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).

Parties     

  1. Plaintiff  is an adult individual who resides in  Oregon.
  2. Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”) is a business entity and consumer reporting agency that regularly conducts business in the Central District of California, and which has its headquarters and a principal place of business located at 475 Anton Boulevard, Costa Mesa, CA.
  3. Defendant Equifax Information Services LLC. (“Equifax”) is a business entity and consumer reporting agency that regularly conducts business in the Central District of California, and which has its headquarters and a principal place of business located at 1550 Peachtree Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA.
  4. Defendant Southern California Edison, Co. (“Edison”) is a corporation which regularly engages in the business of collecting debts and reporting such debts to the credit bureaus in the Central District of California and which has a principal place of business located at 2244 Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead, CA 91770.

Factual Allegations

  1. Defendants have been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit history to third parties (“inaccurate information”).
  2. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, Southern California Edison account that is reporting with an unsatisfied balance, even though the Plaintiff was not responsible for the account at the time of the charges to the account.
  3. The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s credit repayment history, Plaintiff’s financial responsibility as a debtor and Plaintiff’s creditworthiness.  The inaccurate information consists of accounts and/or tradelines that do not accurately reflect the payment history and/or balance of those accounts.
  4. Experian and Equifax have been reporting the inaccurate information through the issuance of false and inaccurate credit information and consumer credit reports that they have disseminated to various persons and credit grantors, both known and unknown.
  5. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Experian and Equifax by both oral and written communications to their representatives and by following Experian and Equifax’s established procedures for disputing consumer credit information.
  6. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Experian and Equifax from January 2012 through the present.
  7. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Experian and Equifax have sent Plaintiff correspondence indicating their intent to continue publishing the inaccurate information and Experian and Equifax continue to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors.  Experian and Equifax have repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least January 2011 through the present.
  8. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts Experian and Equifax 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; (3) forwarded any relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s disputes to the entities originally furnishing the inaccurate information; and (4) requested or obtained any credit applications, or other relevant documents from the entities furnishing the inaccurate information.
  9. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s disputes, Edison has also failed to conduct timely and reasonable investigations of Plaintiff’s above-referenced disputes after being contacted by the relevant credit reporting agencies concerning such disputes, have willfully continued to report such inaccurate information to various credit reporting agencies, and have failed to mark the above account as disputed.
  10. Despite Plaintiff’s exhaustive efforts to date, Defendants 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, have failed to remove the inaccurate information, have failed to report on the results of their investigations and/or reinvestigations to all credit reporting agencies, have failed to note the disputed status of the inaccurate information and have continued to report the derogatory inaccurate information about the Plaintiff.
  11. In or around February 2009, Plaintiff disputed with Edison that the account in question belonged to his ex-roommate, whose name the account was transferred to in July 2008.
  12. Notwithstanding the above, beginning in January 2012, Edison began reporting the satisfied account with an unsatisfied balance to the credit reporting agencies. Despite Plaintiff’s repeated requests, Edison refused to report to the credit reporting agencies that the unpaid balance be removed from Plaintiff’s credit file.
  13. Edison acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner when communicating to the credit reporting agencies inaccurate information which it knows or has reason to believe will defame the Plaintiff.
  14. Edison acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by falsely representing the amount, character or legal status of the debt.
  15. Edison acted in a false, deceptive, misleading and unfair manner by communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.
  16. Edison knew or should have known that its actions violated the RFDCPA.  Additionally, Edison could have taken the steps necessary to bring its agent’s actions within compliance of the statute, but neglected to do so and failed to adequately review those actions to insure compliance with said laws.
  17. As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities, harm to credit reputation and credit score, and emotional distress, including humiliation and embarrassment.
  18. As a result of the acts and/or omissions of Edison, Plaintiff has sustained actual damages, including, but not limited to, injury to Plaintiff’s reputation, invasion of privacy, damage to Plaintiff’s credit, emotional and mental pain and anguish and he will continue to suffer same for an indefinite time in the future, all to his great detriment and loss.
  19.  Defendants knew or should have known that their actions violated the FCRA and RFDCPA.  Additionally, Defendants could have taken the steps necessary to bring their agent’s actions within compliance of these statutes, but neglected to do so and failed to adequately review those actions to insure compliance with said laws.
  20. At all times pertinent hereto, Defendants were acting by and through their agents, servants and/or employees, who were acting within the scope and course of their employment, and under the direct supervision and control of the Defendants herein
  21. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of Defendants as well as their agents, servants and/or employees, was malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, negligent and in wanton disregard for federal and state law and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.

COUNT I –Experian AND 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, Experian  and Equifax were each a “person” and “consumer reporting agency” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b) and (f).
  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, Experian and Equifax are liable to the Plaintiff for willfully and negligently failing to comply with the requirements imposed on a consumer reporting agency of information pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681e(b) and 1681i.
  6. The conduct of Experian and Equifax was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, actual damages and harm to Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Experian and Equifax are liable to 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 II – Edison

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 Edison was a “person” as that term defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b).
  3. Edison violated sections 1681n and 1681o of the FCRA by willfully and negligently failing to comply with the requirements imposed on furnishers of information pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b).
  4. Edison’s conduct was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in causing the serious injuries, damages and harm to the Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above, and as a result Edison is liable to compensate Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with attorney’s fees and costs, as well as such other relief, permitted by law.

COUNT III – EDISON

VIOLATIONS OF THE RFDCPA

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Edison is a “debt collector” as defined by Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.2(c) of the RFDCPA.
  3. Plaintiff is a “debtor” and a “person” as defined by Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788.2(h) and 1788.2(g) of the RFDCPA, respectively.
  4. The above referenced Edison account is a “consumer debt” resulting from “consumer credit transactions” as defined by Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1788.2(h) and 1788.2(g) of the RFDCPA, respectively.
  5. The above referenced credit reports are “consumer credit reports” as defined by Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.2(j) as defined by the RFDCPA.
  6. Edison violated Cal. Civ. Code § 1788.10(c) of the RFDCPA by communicating to the credit reporting agencies inaccurate information which it knows or has reason to believe will defame the Plaintiff.
  7. Edison’s acts as described above were done with intentional, willful, reckless, wanton and negligent disregard for Plaintiff’s rights under the law and with the purpose of coercing Plaintiff to pay monies relating to the inaccurate information.
  8. As a result of the above violations of the RFDCPA, Edison is liable to Plaintiff in the sum of Plaintiff’s statutory damages, actual damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

JURY TRIAL 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, 1681o and Cal. Civ. Code 1788.30(c); and

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

                                                             

Respectfully Submitted by:

THE WALL LAW OFFICE

                                    

William J. Wall, Esquire

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