Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., recently filed a class action lawsuit in Minnesota federal court against MRI Software, a national tenant screening company, alleging it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by selling inaccurate tenant screening reports to landlords and property managers and by failing to provide tenants legally required disclosures about the sources of the information in those reports.
In December 2018, our client applied to rent an apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota. The property manager of the apartment complex paid MRI Software for a “Rental History Report” on our client. The report was allegedly false, misleading, and inaccurate because it contained information about a 2017 eviction action against our client that was voluntarily dismissed, expunged, and sealed after the landlord who brought the action realized it was a mistake to have done so.
Roughly a year later, our client applied to rent another apartment through that same property manager who, again, paid MRI Software for a Rental History Report on our client. And again, the report was allegedly false, misleading, and inaccurate. This time, the report allegedly claimed to have “verified” our client’s mistaken eviction. Verification of an eviction is impossible after it is dismissed, expunged, and sealed.
When our client made a request to MRI Software for the information in its file that it was reporting to landlords and property managers, MRI Software allegedly sent him a copy of his Rental History Report without providing him legally required information about the sources of the information on the report.
In January 2020, after our client disputed the inaccurate information on the second Rental History Report regarding his dismissed and expunged eviction, MRI Software removed it from the report.
“MRI Software’s failure to follow the law by including false and outdated public records is damaging consumers’ credit ratings and preventing them from getting housing that they are entitled to” said Jim Francis, a partner at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., and one of the lead attorneys in the case. “Our client was denied housing on at least two occasions, spent money on additional application fees and court record fees, suffered damage to his creditworthiness, and suffered emotional distress—all because MRI Software allegedly failed to ensure that the information from public records it was providing its customers was accurate.”
Our client is bringing this class action on behalf of (i) all people in the United States who in the past five years were the subjects of MRI Software’s tenant screening reports that contained information that was inaccurate because it was outdated; (ii) all people in the United States who in the past five years were the subjects of MRI Software’s tenant screening reports that contained information from Minnesota public records that was inaccurate because it was outdated; (iii) all people in the United States who in the past five years were the subjects of MRI Software’s tenant screening reports who successfully disputed to the company its inclusion of outdated information in its reports; and (iv) all people in the United States who in the past five years were the subjects of MRI Software’s tenant screening reports who requested the company send them information in its files on them that it was reporting to its customers but which did not include the sources of that information.
The lawsuit, captioned Trevon L. Estes v. MRI Software LLC, et al., No. 20-cv-01624, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
If you applied to rent an apartment but were denied because of a tenant screening report about you that contained incorrect information, you may have a legal claim against the company that created that report. Click here to schedule a free case review with a representative of Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.