Pennsylvania Complaint Against the Big 3 Credit Bureaus and Hunter Warfield, Inc. for Reporting Inaccurate Information to Third Parties that Paid Debt as Unpaid
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
| Jane Doe Plaintiff, v. |
TRANS UNION LLC
EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.
HUNTER WARFIELD INC.
| Civil Action No. |
1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer, against Trans Union LLC, Equifax Information Services, LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., and Hunter Warfield Inc. (collectively “Defendants”), for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (hereinafter the “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”).
2. Plaintiff is an adult individual residing North Carolina.
3. Defendant, Trans Union, LLC (hereafter “Trans Union”), is a business entity which regularly conducts business in Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, PA 19022.
4. Defendant, Equifax Information Services, LLC (hereafter “Equifax”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and which has a principle place of business at 6 Clementon Road, East, Suite A2, Gibbsboro, New Jersey 08026.
5. Defendant, Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (hereafter “Experian”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 5 Century Drive, Parsippany, New Jersey 07054.
6. Defendant, Hunter Warfield Inc. (hereafter “HWI”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at 4620 Woodland Corporate boulevard, Tampa, FL 33614. The principal purpose of Defendant is the collection of debts using the mails and telephone, and Defendant regularly attempts to collect debts alleged to be due another.
JURISDICTION & VENUE
7 .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.
8. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
9. 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”).
10. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, an account with HWI.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Equifax, Experian and Trans Union from October 2011 through the present.
15. 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 and Trans Union have repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least October 2011 through the present.
16. 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.
17. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s disputes, HWI 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.
18. 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.
19. As of result of Defendant’s conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities, harm to credit reputation and credit score, and emotional distress.
20. 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.
21. 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
22. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
23. 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).
24. At all times pertinent hereto, Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).
25. 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).
26. 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.
27. 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 attorneys’ fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.
Count II – HWI
VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA
28. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
29.At all times pertinent hereto HWI was a “person” as that term defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b).
30. HWI 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).
31. HWI’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 HWI 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.
COUNT III – FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
(Plaintiff v. HWI)
32. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
33. Defendant HWI, is a “debt collector” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(6) of the FDCPA.
34. Plaintiff is a “consumer” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(3) of the FDCPA.
35. The reporting of the inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies by Defendant HWI is a “communication” relating to a “debt” as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1692a(2) and 1692a(5) of the FDCPA.
36. The alleged debt at issue arose out of a transaction that was primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
37. Defendant HWI violated the FDCPA. Defendant HWI’s, violations include, but are not limited to, violations of 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(2)(A), 1692e(8), 1692e(10), and 1692f, as evidenced by the following conduct:
(a) The false representation of the amount, character or legal status of a debt; and
(b) 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
(c) Otherwise using false, deceptive, misleading and unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect a debt from the Plaintiff.
38. Defendant HWI’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.
39. As a result of the above violations of the FDCPA, Defendant HWI is liable to Plaintiff.
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(a)(3); and
(e) Such other and further relief as may be necessary, just and proper.
FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.
BY: /s/ Mark Mailman
MARK MAILMAN, ESQUIRE
GEOFFREY H. BASKERVILLE, ESQUIRE
Land Title Building, 19th Floor
100 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19110
Attorneys for Plaintiff