Pennsylvania Complaint Against the 3 Major Credit Agencies for Mixing Consumer’s Credit file

October 20th, 2010 by admin

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

John Doe

 

          Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERIVCES, LLC

          and

EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.

          and

TRANS UNION, LLC

 

          Defendants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPLAINT

 

1.                  This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer, John Doe, against Equifax Information Services, LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc. and Trans Union, LLC, for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., as amended and various other common law rights.

Parties

 

2.                  Plaintiff John Doe is an adult individual and citizen of the state of New York.

3.                  Defendant Equifax Information Services LLC (“Equifax”) is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Pennsylvania and has a principal place of business located at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, New Jersey 08026.

4.                  Defendant Experian Information Systems (“Experian”) is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 5 Century Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.

5.                  Defendant Trans Union, LLC (“Trans Union”) is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania 19022.

JURISDICTION & Venue

 

6.                  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 claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

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

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 AFNI, American Express, Cavalry Portfolio Service, Chase, Chase Bank USA, Citifinancial Auto, Citifinancial, EMC Mortgage, Enhanced Recovery Corp, ER Solutions, Exxon/Mobil/Cbsd NA, Lackland Self Storage, Manufactures & Traders Trust, Midland Credit Management, Molton Allen & Williams, National Asset Mgmt LLC, NCO Fin/99, NCO Financial Services, Optima Recovery Services, Sunrise Credit Service, Universal Car/Citibank, and Verizon New Jersey Inc.

10.              The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon 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 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 they have disseminated to various persons and credit grantors, both known and unknown.

12.              Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Defendants by both oral and written communications to their representatives and by following Defendants’ established procedure for disputing consumer credit information.

13.              Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Defendants including but not limited to, from May 2010 through the present.

14.              Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendants have sent Plaintiff correspondence indicating their intent to continue publishing the inaccurate information, and Defendants continue to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors. Defendants have repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least May 2010 through the present.

15.              Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendants 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; (4) requested or obtained any credit applications, or other relevant documents from the entities furnishing the inaccurate information; or (5) performed any handwriting analysis.

16.              Despite Plaintiff’s exhaustive efforts to date, Defendants have nonetheless deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly and negligently repeatedly failed to perform reasonable 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 its 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 Plaintiff.

17.              Plaintiff had his line of credit with M&T Bank terminated, and Plaintiff has been informed that the basis for this denial was the inaccurate information that appears on Plaintiff’s credit reports and that the inaccurate information was a substantial factor for that denial.

18.              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.

19.              As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages and serious financial and pecuniary harm arising from monetary losses relating to the termination of his line of credit, 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.

20.              As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered great 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.

21.              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.

22.              As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered a decreased credit score.

23.              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.

24.              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 state laws and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.

COUNT ONE – EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN, & Trans Union –

VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA

 

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

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

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

28.              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).

29.              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 conduct a proper and reasonable reinvestigation concerning the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from the Plaintiff, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(b)               willfully and negligently failing to provide prompt notice of the inaccurate information and Plaintiff’s dispute to the furnishing entities, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(c)                willfully and negligently failing to provide all relevant information provided by the Plaintiff regarding the dispute of the inaccurate information to the furnishing entities, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(d)               willfully and negligently failing to review and consider all relevant information submitted by the Plaintiff concerning the dispute of the inaccurate information, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(e)                willfully and negligently reinserting inaccurate information that had been deleted from Plaintiff’s  file without notifying Plaintiff, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(f)                willfully and negligently failing to delete the inaccurate information from Plaintiff’s credit file after reinvestigation, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(g)               willfully and negligently failing to note the Plaintiff’s dispute of the inaccurate  information and in subsequent consumer reports, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(c);

(h)               willfully and negligently failing to timely and properly investigate the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from Plaintiff;

(i)                 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);

(j)                 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

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

30.              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 – Equifax, Experian, & Trans Union – DEFAMATION

 

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

32.              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.

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

34.              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.

35.              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.

36.              Defendants knew that the statements were false when made, and had no factual basis for making the statements, as Plaintiff has notified them repeatedly through writing, telephone communication and extensive documentation that the above inaccurate information was inaccurate for the reasons stated above.

37.              Nonetheless, Defendants continue to publish the false and negative statements concerning Plaintiff’s credit history up through the present time.

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

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

40.              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.

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 Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union are liable to compensate 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 – EQUIFAX, Experian, & Trans Union – 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)               Failing to conduct a proper and reasonable reinvestigation concerning the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from Plaintiff;

(c)                Failing to provide prompt notice of the inaccurate information and Plaintiff’s dispute to creditors;

(d)               Failing to provide all relevant information provided by Plaintiff regarding the dispute of the inaccurate information to creditors;

(e)                Failing to review and consider all relevant information submitted by Plaintiff concerning the dispute of the inaccurate information;

(f)                Failing to delete or correct the inaccurate information from Plaintiff’s credit file after reinvestigation;

(g)               Failing to note Plaintiff’s dispute of the inaccurate information and in subsequent consumer reports;

(h)               Failing to timely and properly investigate the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from Plaintiff;

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

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

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

(l)                 Reinserting inaccurate information that had been deleted from Plaintiff’s  file without notifying Plaintiff;

(m)             Failing to review all relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s account that was sent from Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union;

(n)               Failing to report the results of investigations to the relevant consumer reporting agencies;

(o)               Failing to report the inaccurate status of the inaccurate information to all credit reporting agencies, including those agencies to whom originally furnished information.

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 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 Plaintiff for the full amount of actual and compensatory damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

COUNT FOUR – Equifax, Experian, & Trans Union-

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 impermissibly accessing Plaintiff’s most private information and 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 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 Plaintiff for the full amount of actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

I.                   JURY TRIAL DEMAND

 

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

 

 

II.                 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 and 1681o;

(e)                An order directing that Defendants immediately delete all of the inaccurate information from Plaintiff’s credit reports and files;

(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 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

 

 

Dated: October 18, 2010


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