Complaint Against Trans Union, Experian, Equifax and GE Money Bank for Reporting a False, Inaccurate Account

July 8th, 2011 by krista


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

Jane Doe 

Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

TRANS UNION, LLC

and

EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.

and

EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC

and

GE MONEY BANK,

d/b/a GEMB/OLD NAVY

 

Defendants.

Civil Action No.  

 

 

 

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

NON-ARBITRATION

 

COMPLAINT

 

  1. I. Preliminary Statement
  1. This is an action for damages brought by individual consumer, against Trans Union, LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., Equifax Information Services, LLC, and GE Money Bank d/b/a GEMB/OLD NAVY, (collectively “Defendants”), for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereafter the “FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq., as amended, and various other common law rights.

II.     Jurisdiction and Venue

  1. 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.
  2. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1391(b).

IIIII.      Parties

  1. Plaintiff  is an adult individual residing in Florida.
  2. Defendant Trans Union, LLC (hereafter “Trans Union”), is a consumer reporting agency which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, PA 19022.
  3. Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (hereafter “Experian”) is a consumer reporting agency which 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, Equifax Information Services LLC (hereafter “Equifax”) is a consumer reporting agency which regularly conducts business in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, New Jersey 08026.
  5. Defendant GE Money Bank, d/b/a GEMB/OLD NAVY (“GEMB”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in this Commonwealth and which has a principal place of business located at 3135 Easton Turnpike, Fairfield, CT 06828.

IV.             Factual Allegations

  1. 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”).
  2. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, an account with GEMB.
  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 an amount and/or debt that does not belong to 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.
  4. Defendants Trans Union, 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 Defendants Trans Union, Experian and Equifax by written communications to their representatives and by the Defendants’ established procedure for disputing consumer credit information.
  6. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Defendants Trans Union, Experian and Equifax from July 2009 through the present.
  7. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendants Trans Union, Experian and Equifax 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 July 2009 through the present.
  8. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Defendants Trans Union, 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. Additionally, Plaintiff has repeatedly disputed the inaccurate information with GEMB. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s disputes, GEMB 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, have willfully continued to report such inaccurate information to various credit reporting agencies, and have continued to attempt to collect monies from the Plaintiff regarding the inaccurate information by the aforementioned conduct.
  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 and have continued to report the derogatory inaccurate information about Plaintiff.
  11. 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.
  12. As a 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.
  13. 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.
  14. As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of mental pain and anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, and frustration, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.
  15. As a result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of injury to credit rating and reputation, and a decreased credit score, and Plaintiff will continue to suffer the same for an indefinite time in the future, all to Plaintiff’s great detriment and loss.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.

 

 

V.        Count One – Violations of the FCRA

(Plaintiff v. Trans Union, Experian and Equifax)

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. 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).
  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, Defendants are liable to 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 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 Plaintiff concerning the dispute of the inaccurate information, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §1681i(a);

(e)                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);

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

(g)               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

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

  1. 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 Plaintiff that are outlined more fully above and, as a result, Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorneys’ fees and the costs of litigation.

VI.       Count Two – Violations of the FCRA

(Plaintiff v. GEMB)

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. At all times pertinent hereto GEMB was a “person” as that term defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b).
  3. GEMB violated 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n and 1681o of the FCRA by engaging in the following conduct:

(a)                willfully and negligently failing to conduct an investigation of the inaccurate information that Plaintiff disputed;

(b)               willfully and negligently failing to review all relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s account provided to GEMB;

(c)                willfully and negligently failing to report the results of investigations to the relevant consumer reporting agencies;

(d)               willfully and negligently failing to report the inaccurate status of the inaccurate information to all credit reporting agencies;

(e)                willfully and negligently failing to properly participate, investigate and comply with the reinvestigations that were conducted by any and all credit reporting agencies concerning the inaccurate information disputed by Plaintiff;

(f)                willfully and negligently failing to provide any and all credit reporting agencies with the factual information and evidence that Plaintiff submitted to Defendant GEMB, and which proved that the information concerning the Plaintiff’s credit reports was inaccurate;

(g)               willfully and negligently continuing to furnish and disseminate inaccurate and derogatory credit, account and other information concerning the Plaintiff to credit reporting agencies and other entities; and

(h)               willfully and negligently failing to comply with the requirements imposed on furnishers of information pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1681s-2(b).

  1. GEMB’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 GEMB is liable to compensate Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as such other relief, permitted by law.

VII.     Count Three – Defamation

(Plaintiff v. Trans Union, Experian and Equifax)

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. Defendants have published statements through writing to various creditors, prospective credit grantors, other credit reporting agencies, and other entities that the above-referenced derogatory inaccurate information about the Plaintiff.
  3. 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.
  4. The statements made by the Defendants are false in that they inaccurately reflect Plaintiff’s credit information and debt repayment history, and paint Plaintiff as financially irresponsible and delinquent.
  5. 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.
  6. Defendants knew that the statements were false when made, and had no factual basis for making the statements, as Plaintiff has notified them repeatedly, beginning in July 2009, through writing, telephone communication and extensive documentation that the above inaccurate information was inaccurate for the reasons stated above.
  7. Nonetheless, Defendants continued to publish the false and negative statements concerning the Plaintiff’s credit history up through the present time.
    1. The written statements and publications constitute libel per se.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

VIII.    Count Four – Defamation

(Plaintiff v. GEMB)

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
  2. At the times pertinent hereto, Defendant GEMB has published statements both orally and through writing to various credit reporting agencies, collection agencies and/or attorneys that are false and negative representations concerning Plaintiff’s credit information and history.
  3. At a minimum, Defendant GEMB has published these statements each time Plaintiff has notified Defendant GEMB and other credit reporting agencies of Plaintiff’s dispute and each time a credit-reporting agency has reinvestigated the dispute.
    1. The statements made by Defendant GEMB, are false as outlined above.
    2. Defendant GEMB has published these statements to at least Defendants Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
    3. Defendant GEMB knew that the statements were false when made and had no factual basis for making the statements, as Plaintiff had notified them that the statements were false for the above-mentioned reasons and, nonetheless, they continue to publish such statements up through the present time.
      1. The written statements and publications constitute libel per se.
      2. In addition, and despite the repeated notices from Plaintiff, Defendant GEMB has acted with malice by failing to communicate the information provided to them by Plaintiff to credit reporting agencies when responding to the reinvestigation attempts of such credit reporting agencies and has further failed to indicate that the account in question has been disputed by the Plaintiff.
      3. The conduct of Defendant GEMB 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, Defendant GEMB is liable to compensate Plaintiff for the full amount of actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as such other relief, permitted by law.

IX.     Count Five – Negligence

(Plaintiff v. Trans Union, Experian and Equifax)

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as if the same were set forth at length herein.
    1. 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 the 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 the Plaintiff regarding the dispute of the inaccurate information to creditors;

(e)                Failing to review and consider all relevant information submitted by the 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 timely and properly investigate the inaccurate information after receiving notice of the dispute from the Plaintiff;

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

(i)                 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

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

  1. As a result of Defendants above mentioned conduct, Plaintiff sustained and continues to sustain the losses and damages as set forth above.
  2. The conduct of Defendants were 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.

X.     Count Six – Negligence

(Plaintiff v. GEMB)

  1. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as if the same were set forth at length herein.
    1. Defendant Allied’s negligence consists of the following:

(a)                Violating the FCRA as set forth above;

(b)               Failing to conduct an investigation of the inaccurate information that Plaintiff disputed;

(c)                Failing to review all relevant information concerning Plaintiff’s account that was sent to Defendant GEMB;

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

(e)                Failing to report the inaccurate status of the inaccurate information to all credit reporting agencies, including those agencies to whom Defendant GEMB originally furnished information; and

(f)                Failing to delete or correct the inaccurate information.

  1. As a result of Defendant GEMB’s above mentioned conduct, Plaintiff sustained and continues to sustain the losses and damages as set forth above.
  2. The conduct of Defendant GEMB 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, Defendant GEMB is liable to compensate the Plaintiff for the full amount of actual and compensatory damages, as well as such other relief, permitted under the law.

XI.       Count Seven  – Invasion Of Privacy/False Light

(Plaintiff v. Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax)

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

at length herein.

64.       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.

65.       By such unauthorized 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.

66.       The 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, 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.

XII.     Count Eight – Invasion Of Privacy/False Light

(Plaintiff v. GEMB)

 

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

at length herein.

68.       Defendant GEMB’s above actions violated Plaintiff’s right of privacy and placed 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.

69.       By such unauthorized invasion, publication and circulation of Plaintiff’s name and the inaccurate information, Defendant GEMB 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.

70.       The conduct of Defendant GEMB 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, Defendant GEMB is 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.

U

Xiii.    Jury Demand

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

XiV.    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 attorneys’ fees pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n, 1681o and 1692k;

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

ERIN A. NOVAK, ESQUIRE

Land Title Building, 19th Floor

100 South Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19110

(215) 735-8600

Attorneys for Plaintiff

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