Pennsylvania Complaint Against Sallie Mae, Trans Union for Reporting Derogatory, Inaccurate Statements Relating to Identity Theft
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
| JOHN DOE, |
TRANS UNION, LLC
SALLIE MAE, INC.
Civil Action No.
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
1. This is an action for damages brought by an individual consumer, against Trans Union, LLC and Sallie Mae, Inc., (collectively “Defendants”), for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq.
JURISDICTION & VENUE
2. Jurisdiction of this Court arises under 15 U.S.C. § 1681p and 28 U.S.C. § 1331.
3. Venue lies properly in this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
4. Plaintiff is an adult individual residing in Garfield Heights, Ohio.
5. Defendant, Trans Union, LLC (“Trans Union”), is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and which has a principal place of business located at 1510 Chester Pike, Crum Lynne, PA.
6. Defendant Sallie Mae, Inc., (“Sallie Mae”) is a business entity that regularly conducts business in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and which has a principal place of business located at P.O. Box 9500, Wilkes Barre, PA 18773.
7. Defendants have been reporting derogatory and inaccurate statements and information relating to Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s credit history to third parties (the “inaccurate information”).
8. The inaccurate information includes, but is not limited to, accounts with Sallie Mae.
9. The inaccurate information negatively reflects upon Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s credit repayment history, Plaintiff’s financial responsibility as a debtor and Plaintiff’s creditworthiness. The inaccurate information consists of accounts and/or tradelines for which the Plaintiff has no responsibility and which are believed to be the result of fraud.
10. 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.
11. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Trans Union to its representatives by following Trans Union’s established procedures for disputing consumer credit information. With one or more of Plaintiff’s disputes, Plaintiff has provided a proper identity theft report to Trans Union, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(q)(4).
12. Plaintiff has disputed the inaccurate information with Trans Union from May 2012 through the present.
13. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s efforts, Trans Union has sent Plaintiff correspondence indicating their intent to continue publishing the inaccurate information and Trans Union continues to publish and disseminate such inaccurate information to other third parties, persons, entities and credit grantors. Trans Union has repeatedly published and disseminated consumer reports to such third parties from at least May 2012 through the present.
14. Despite Plaintiff’s efforts, Trans Union has never: (1) contacted Plaintiff to follow up on, verify and/or elicit more specific information about Plaintiff’s disputes; (2) contacted all 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.
15. Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s disputes, Sallie Mae, furnisher of the inaccurate information, 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.
16. Despite Plaintiff’s exhaustive efforts to date, Defendants have nonetheless deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly and negligently repeatedly failed to perform reasonable investigations/reinvestigations of the above disputes as required by the FCRA, have failed to remove the inaccurate information, have failed to note the disputed status of the inaccurate information and have continued to report the derogatory inaccurate information about the Plaintiff.
17. As of result of Defendants’ conduct, Plaintiff has suffered actual damages in the form of lost credit opportunities, harm to credit reputation and credit score, and emotional distress, including humiliation and embarrassment.
18. 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.
19. At all times pertinent hereto, the conduct of the Defendants, as well as that of their agents, servants and/or employees, was intentional, willful, reckless, and in grossly negligent disregard for federal laws and the rights of the Plaintiff herein.
COUNT I – TRANS UNION
VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA
20. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
21. At all times pertinent hereto, Trans Union was a “person” and “consumer reporting agency” as those terms are defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b) and (f).
22. At all times pertinent hereto, Plaintiff was a “consumer” as that term is defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).
23. 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).
24. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1681n and 15 U.S.C. §1681o, Trans Union is 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. §§ 1681c-2, 1681e(b) and 1681i.
25. The conduct of 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, Trans Union is liable to Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with the attorney’s fees and the costs of litigation, as well as such further relief, as may be permitted by law.
Count II – Sallie Mae
VIOLATIONS OF THE FCRA
26. Plaintiff incorporates the foregoing paragraphs as though the same were set forth at length herein.
27. At all times pertinent hereto Sallie Mae was a “person” as that term defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b).
28. At all times pertinent hereto Sallie Mae was a “furnisher” as that term is used in 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b).
29. Sallie Mae 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).
30. Sallie Mae’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 Sallie Mae is liable to compensate Plaintiff for the full amount of statutory, actual and punitive damages, along with attorney’s fees and costs, as well as such other relief, permitted by law.
JURY TRIAL DEMAND
33. 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
(e) Such other and further relief as may be necessary, just and proper.
FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.
BY: /s/ Mark Mailman
MARK MAILMAN, ESQUIRE
ERIN NOVAK, ESQUIRE
Land Title Building, 19th Floor
100 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19110
Attorneys for Plaintiff