Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a California man against TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions and RentSpree in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging the companies violated the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).
According to the complaint in the lawsuit, in July 2022, our client was trying to find an apartment to live in. As part of his application for a particular apartment, his would-be landlord purchased a consumer report prepared by TransUnion and RentSpree. That report contained inaccurate and derogatory information about our client.
Specifically, the report included false information related to our client’s supposed criminal history. The inaccurate information included misdemeanors for Battery on Spouse/Cohabitating/Noncohab Former Spouse/Etc and Disturb by Loud/Unreasonable Noise which do not belong to our client. Our client has no criminal history of his own.
Instead, the criminal history belongs to at least one other consumer. TransUnion and RentSpree mixed the consumer report of our client with that of at least one other consumer regarding this criminal history.
Due to the inaccurate consumer report, our client was denied the rental apartment. The inaccurate criminal information within the report was a substantial factor for his being denied.
The complaint alleges TransUnion and RentSpree violated the FCRA by failing to follow reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information it reported about our client, which led to the company mixing our client’s consumer report with that of at least one other consumer’s report resulting in his consumer report containing an inaccurate criminal history. Had the defendants followed these procedures, they wouldn’t have mixed these consumer reports.
“The consumer report prepared by TransUnion and RentSpree grossly disparages our client and falsely portrays him as a convicted criminal,” said Siobhán McGreal, one of the lawyers at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. who filed the lawsuit. “When it comes to tenant background checks, there is perhaps no greater error that a consumer reporting agency can make. Few landlords would be willing to offer a lease to someone with a criminal background. Ironically, had someone from TransUnion or RentSpree reviewed the public records that were the source of the information in our client’s consumer report, they would have seen that this information was inaccurate.”
As a result of TransUnion and RentSpree’s alleged misconduct, our client has suffered actual damages in the form of lost rental opportunity, harm to reputation, and emotional distress, including anxiety, frustration, humiliation, and embarrassment.
The relief our client is seeking in the lawsuit includes, among other things, actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.
If your consumer report or tenant background check contains inaccurate information about you, you may be able to recover damages against the credit reporting agency that created it. If you do so, the credit reporting agency may also be required to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs.
Click here or call 215-735-8600 to schedule a free case review with a representative of Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. Located in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, we serve clients nationwide.