Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Virginia woman against Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”) and Investigative Recovery Services LLC (“Investigative Recovery”) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that Investigative Recovery violated the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), and that both companies violated the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).
According to the complaint in the lawsuit, both Experian and Investigative Recovery have been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and information regarding our client and her background to third parties since at least November 2021. The alleged inaccurate information at issue in this lawsuit pertains to an Investigative Recovery collections account with a balance for a debt originally owed to Citibank.
Specifically, Experian and Investigative Recovery are allegedly falsely reporting that our client has an unpaid debt originally owed to Citibank for which she owes a balance. However, the amount owed for that debt is the same as a debt to Citibank our client previously settled in September 2012. In other words, Experian is reporting a debt owed to Investigative Recovery that is not actually owed to the company because it was settled almost a decade ago.
This allegedly inaccurate information negatively reflects upon our client’s credit repayment history, her financial responsibility as a debtor, and her creditworthiness.
Even though our client has disputed the allegedly inaccurate information with Experian and Investigative Recovery from November 2021 through the present, including by following Experian’s established procedures for disputing consumer credit information, Experian has indicated to our client that it plans to continue publishing this inaccurate information, and has done so.
“The conduct we allege Experian and Investigative Recovery to have engaged in here is the kind of conduct the FDCPA and FCRA were designed to eradicate,” said Siobhàn E. McGreal, one of the lawyers at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., who filed the lawsuit. “Experian and Investigative Recovery are sophisticated corporations that one would think would be able to determine when a debt they are reporting is incorrect and should be removed from a consumer’s report. But this lawsuit suggests their processes and procedures for making this determination are lacking.”
According to the complaint, despite our client’s efforts to correct the inaccurate information Experian is publishing about her, Experian has (i) never contacted her to follow up on or verify her disputes, (ii) never contacted third parties that would have information concerning her disputes, (iii) never forwarded any relevant information concerning her disputes, and (iv) never requested or obtained credit applications from Investigative Recovery providing the inaccurate information. The complaint alleges this misconduct violated the FCRA.
Investigative Recovery, as the company furnishing the inaccurate information, allegedly has also failed to conduct timely and reasonable investigations of our client’s disputes after being contacted by Experian concerning our client’s disputes, failed to mark the account as disputed, and has willfully continued to report such inaccurate information to various credit reporting agencies.
The complaint alleges Investigative Recovery violated the FDCPA by, among other things, falsely representing the amount and character of a debt and failing to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed. The complaint alleges the company violated the FCRA by deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly, and negligently repeatedly (i) failing to perform reasonable reinvestigations of our client’s dispute as required by the FCRA, (ii) failing to remove the inaccurate information on her credit report, (iii) failing to note the disputed status of the inaccurate information, (iv) failing to report on the results of their reinvestigations to all credit reporting agencies, and (v) continuing to report the derogatory inaccurate information about our client.
As a result of Experian’s and Investigative Recovery’s alleged unlawful conduct, our client has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities, credit defamation, and emotional distress, including anxiety, frustration, embarrassment, and humiliation.
The relief our client is seeking in the lawsuit includes, among other things, actual damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages.
If your consumer report or employment background check contains inaccurate information about you, including credit records or debts that do not belong to 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.