Complaint Against Big 3 Credit Reporting Agencies for Misreporting Collection Accounts with RJM Acquisition and HSBC

October 11th, 2010 by krista

In The United States District Court For The Eastern District  of Pennsylvania 

John Doe  Plaintiff, v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. and Equifax Information Services, Inc. and Trans Union, LLC Defendants.

COMPLAINT

 

I.     Preliminary Statement

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

II.     Jurisdiction and Venue

2.         Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1681p, 28 U.S.C. §1331, 1337, and supplemental jurisdiction exists for the state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1367.

3.                  Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(b).

 

III.     Parties

4.                  Plaintiff John Doe is an adult individual who resides in PA 19040.

 

5.         Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a place of business located at 5 Century Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.

 

6.         Defendant Equifax Information Services, Inc. is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a place of business located at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, New Jersey 08026.          

7.         Defendant Trans Union, LLC, is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a place of business located at 555 West Adams, Chicago, IL 60661.

IV.                   Factual Allegations

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

9.         The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, accounts with Enhanced Recovery Corporation, HSBC Auto Finance, RJM Acquisition, LLC, Wilmington Trust FSB, and personal identifying information.

10.       The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon the Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s credit repayment history, Plaintiff’s financial responsibility as a debtor and Plaintiff’s credit worthiness. The inaccurate information consists of accounts and/or tradelines that do not belong to the Plaintiff, or which misrepresent the payment history and/or status of accounts that do belong to the Plaintiff as well as incorrect personal identifying information.

11.       Defendants have been reporting the inaccurate information through the issuance of false and inaccurate credit information and consumer credit reports that it has disseminated to various persons and credit grantors, both known and unknown.

12.       Despite Plaintiff’s repeated requests and payments for goods and services in the form of consumer versions of Defendants’ credit reports and to investigate and correct inaccurate information disputed by Plaintiff, Defendants have refused and failed to furnish Plaintiff with timely disclosures of Plaintiff’s credit reports and to investigate Plaintiff’s disputes.

13.       Plaintiff has applied for and has been denied various loans and extensions of consumer credit on many different occasions, and Plaintiff has been informed that the basis for these denials was the inaccurate information that appears on Plaintiff’s credit reports and that the inaccurate information was a substantial factor for those denials.

14.       Plaintiff’s credit reports and file have been obtained from Defendants and have been reviewed many times by prospective and existing credit grantors and extenders of credit, and the inaccurate information has been a substantial factor in precluding Plaintiff from receiving many different credit offers and opportunities, known and unknown, and from receiving the most favorable terms in financing and interest rates for credit offers that were ultimately made.

15.       As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages and serious financial and pecuniary harm arising from monetary losses relating to credit denials, loss of use of funds, loss of credit and loan opportunities, excessive and/or elevated interest rate and finance charges, out-of-pocket expenses including, but not limited to, local or long distance telephone calls, postage, faxing and other related costs, all of which will continue into the future to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.

16.       As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered great physical, emotional and mental pain and anguish, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.

17.       As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of financial and dignitary harm arising from the injury to credit rating and reputation, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.

18.       As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered a decreased credit score as a result of multiple inquiries appearing on Plaintiff’s credit file.

19.       At all times pertinent hereto, Defendants were acting by and through its 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.

20.       At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of the Defendants as well as that of its agents, servants and/or employees, was malicious, intentional, willful, reckless, and in grossly negligent disregard for federal and state laws and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.        

V.     CLAIMS

COUNT ONE – FCRA

            21.       Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.

22.       At all times pertinent hereto, Defendants were a “persons” and “consumer reporting agencies” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b) and (f).

23.       At all times pertinent hereto, the Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).

24.       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).

25.       Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1681n and 15 U.S.C. §1681o, Defendants are liable to the Plaintiff for engaging in the following conduct:

(a)        willfully and negligently failing to employ and follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit report, information and file, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681e(b);

(b)        willfully and negligently failing to properly and timely delete the inaccurate information from the Plaintiff’s credit files despite being unable to verify the accuracy of the information and/or being provided with proof of its inaccuracy; and

(c)        willfully and negligently continuing to report the inaccurate information despite having knowledge of its inaccuracy and/or inability to be verified.

26.       The conduct of Defendants 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, Defendants are liable to the Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorneys’ fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.

COUNT TWO – DEFAMATION

 

27.       Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.

28.       Defendants have published statements both orally and through writing to various creditors, prospective credit grantors, other credit reporting agencies, and other entities that the above-referenced derogatory inaccurate information belongs to the Plaintiff.

29.       Defendants have published these statements each time a credit report on the Plaintiff has been requested from any creditor, prospective credit grantors furnisher or other source.

30.       The statements made by Defendants are false in that they inaccurately reflect Plaintiff’s credit information and debt repayment history, and paint Plaintiff as financially irresponsible and delinquent.

31.       Defendants have published these statements to at least every single creditor, furnisher or prospective creditor or other entity that has requested Plaintiff’s credit report.

32.       The written statements and publications constitute libel per se.

33.       The oral statements and publications constitute slander per se.

34.       In addition, and despite the repeated notices from Plaintiff, Defendants have acted with malice by failing to communicate the information provided to them by Plaintiff to all creditors, prospective creditors, furnishers of information and all other entities to whom it provides credit information concerning the Plaintiff.

35.       Defendants’ conduct was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, damages and harm to the Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Defendants are liable to compensate the Plaintiff for the full amount of actual damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

COUNT THREE  – CPL

 

36.       Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.

37.       Plaintiff and Defendants are “persons” as defined by § 201-2 of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, 73 P.S. §201.1 et seq. (“CPL”).

38.       The above described purchases by Plaintiff from Defendants constitute “commerce” and the “sale or distribution of any services and any property” as defined by 73 P.S. § 201-2 of the CPL.

39.       Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1681s, any violation of the FCRA constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the CPL.

40.       Defendants violated the CPL by engaging in the following conduct:

(a)        intentionally, willfully, recklessly and negligently failing to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy in the credit reports they disseminated concerning the Plaintiff;

(b)        intentionally, willfully, recklessly and negligently reporting the inaccurate information concerning the Plaintiff;

(c)                engaging in all other conduct set forth in the foregoing paragraphs; and

                        (d)       intentionally, willfully, recklessly and negligently  failing to provide timely reports to Plaintiff despite repeated requests by Plaintiff.

          41.          Defendants’ conduct was a direct and proximate cause, as well as a substantial factor, in bringing about the serious injuries, damages and harm to the Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Plaintiff has suffered ascertainable losses entitling Plaintiff to an award of statutory, actual and treble damages, attorney’s fees and costs, as well as other relief, permitted under the law.

                                           COUNT FOUR – NEGLIGENCE

 

            42.       Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as if the same were set forth at length herein.

43.       Defendants’ negligence consists of the following:

(a)    Violating the FCRA as set forth above;

(b)    Violating the CPL as set forth above;

(c)    Failing to provide prompt notice of the inaccurate information to creditors;

(d)    Failing to employ and follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit report, information and file;

(e)    Failing to properly and timely delete the inaccurate information from the Plaintiff’s credit files despite being unable to verify the accuracy of the information and/or being provided with proof of its inaccuracy; and

(f)    Continuing to report the inaccurate information despite having knowledge of the inaccuracies and/or the inability to be verified.

44.       As a result of Defendants’ above mentioned conduct, Plaintiff sustained and

continues to sustain the losses and damages as set forth above.

45.       The conduct of the Defendants 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 and, as a result, Defendants are liable to compensate the Plaintiff for the full amount of actual and compensatory damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

COUNT FIVE – INVASION OF PRIVACY/FALSE LIGHT

 

46.       Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth

at length herein.

47.       Defendants’ above actions violated Plaintiff’s right of privacy by placing the Plaintiff in a false light before the eyes of others, including potential credit grantors and creditors as well as family, friends and the general public.

48.       By such unauthorized invasion, publication and circulation of Plaintiff’s name and the inaccurate information, Defendants invaded Plaintiff’s right to privacy, subjected Plaintiff to ridicule and contempt, injured Plaintiff’s personal esteem, reflected disgracefully on Plaintiff’s character, diminished Plaintiff’s high standing, reputation and good name among family, friends, neighbors and business associates, destroyed Plaintiff’s peace of mind, and caused Plaintiff severe mental and emotional distress.

            49.       The conduct of the Defendants 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 and, as a result, Defendants are liable to compensate the Plaintiff for the full amount of actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

VI.     JURY TRIAL DEMAND

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

VII.     PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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

(a)        Actual damages;

(b)        Statutory damages;

(c)        Punitive damages;

(d)       Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§1681n, 1681o and 73 P.S. §201-9.2(a);

;

(e)        An order directing that Defendants immediately delete all of the inaccurate information from Plaintiff’s credit reports and files and cease reporting the inaccurate information to any and all persons and entities to whom they report consumer credit information;

(f)                An order directing that Defendants  send to all persons and entities to whom they have reported Plaintiff’s inaccurate information within the last three years Plaintiff’s updated and corrected credit report information; and

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

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.

BY:     __/s/ Mark D. Mailman___________________

MARK D. MAILMAN, ESQUIRE

JOHN SOUMILAS, ESQUIRE

GEOFFREY H. BASKERVILLE, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff

 

Dated: October 4, 2010


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