Pennsylvania Complaint Against Big Three Credit Agencies and Pinnacle Credit Services

July 19th, 2011 by krista

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA 

 

John Doe

 

Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

TRANS UNION, LLC

and

EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC

and

EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.

and

PINNACLE CREDIT SERVICES, LLC

 

Defendants.

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Civil Action No.

 

COMPLAINT

 

 

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

NON-ARBITRATION

 

Complaint

Preliminary Statement

  1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer, against Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Trans Union, LLC, and Pinnacle Credit Services, LLC. (collectively “Defendants”), for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( “FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., as amended, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1692, et seq. (hereafter the “FDCPA”).

The Parties

  1. Plaintiff is an adult individual residing in Florida.
  2. Defendant, Trans Union, LLC (hereafter “Trans Union”), is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, PA 19022.
  3. Defendant, Equifax Information Services LLC (hereafter “Equifax”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, and which has a principle place of business at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, NJ 08026.
  4. Defendant, Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (hereafter “Experian”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, and which has a principal place of business located at 5 Century Drive, Parsippany, NJ 07054.
  5. Defendant Pinnacle Credit Services LLC (hereafter “Pinnacle”) is a corporation which regularly engages in the business of collecting debts in Florida with its principal office located at 7900 Highway 7 #100, Saint Louis Park, MN 55426.  The principal purpose of Pinnacle is the collection of debts due another using the mails and telephone, and Pinnacle regularly attempts to collect said debts.

JURISDICTION & 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).

Factual Allegations

  1. Defendants have been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit history to third parties (the “inaccurate information”).
  2. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, an account with Pinnacle and a deceased notation on Plaintiff’s credit reports.
  3. 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 the Plaintiff.
  4. 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.
  5. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Defendants by both oral and written communications to their representatives and by following Equifax, Experian and Trans Union’s established procedures for disputing consumer credit information.
  6. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Equifax, Experian and Trans Union from February 2011 through the present.
  7. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union have sent Plaintiff correspondence indicating their intent to continue publishing the inaccurate information and Equifax, Experian and Trans Union continue to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors.  Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and have repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least February 2011 through the present.
  8. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union 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; and (5) performed any handwriting analysis.
  9. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s disputes, Pinnacle has also failed to conduct timely and reasonable investigations of Plaintiff’s disputes after being contacted by the relevant credit reporting agencies concerning Plaintiff’s disputes, has willfully continued to report such inaccurate information to various credit reporting agencies, and has failed to mark the above accounts as disputed.
  10. 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 the Plaintiff.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 I – Equifax, Experian AND TRANS UNION

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, Experian and Trans Union 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, 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, Experian and Trans Union 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 and 1681i.
  6. The conduct of Equifax, Experian and Trans Union 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, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union 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 – Pinnacle

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 Pinnacle was a “person” as that term defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b).
  3. Pinnacle 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. Pinnacle’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 Pinnacle 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 THREE – PINNACLE

VIOLATIONS OF THE FDCPA

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendant Pinnacle is each a “debt collector” as defined by 15 U.S.C. §1692a(6) of the FDCPA.
  3. Plaintiff is a “consumer” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3) of the FDCPA.
  4. The above disputes by Plaintiff and the reporting of the inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies by Defendant Pinnacle are “communications” relating to a “debt” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(2) and 1692a(5) of the FDCPA.
  5. Any alleged debts at issue arose out of a transaction which was primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
  6. Defendant Pinnacle violated the FDCPA.  Defendant Pinnacle’s violations include, but are not limited to, violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2)(A), 1692e, 1692e(8), 1692e(10), and 1692f, as evidenced by the following conduct:
    1. The false representation of the amount, character or legal status of a         debt;
    2. The use of false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt;
    3. 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; and
    4. Otherwise using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect a debt from the Plaintiff.
    5. Defendant Pinnacle’s acts as described above were done with malicious, 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.
    6. As a result of the above violations of the FDCPA, Defendant Pinnacle is liable to Plaintiff in the sum of Plaintiff’s statutory damages, actual damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

JURY TRIAL DEMAND

40.       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)                Actual damages;

(b)               Statutory damages;

(c)                Punitive damages;

(d)               Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n, 1681o and 15 U.S.C. §1692k; 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

ERIN NOVAK, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff


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