Tennessee Woman Sues the “Big Three” U.S. Credit Reporting Agencies for Falsely Claiming on Her Credit Report That She Was Deceased

big three

Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C., recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Tennessee woman against Trans Union, LLC, Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., and Genesis FS Card Services, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging the companies violated the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act.
According to the complaint in the lawsuit, Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian have, for a period of time since at least September 2021, marked our client as “deceased” on the credit reports the companies created about her and sold to third parties. As a result, the companies have not calculated or provided any credit score for her. However, our client is not deceased—she is very much alive. This false labeling by Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian has made it practically impossible for our client to obtain credit. In fact, our client has been denied credit, card loans, and other credit offers and opportunities and has suffered credit defamation, in whole or in part, because of the defendants’ actions.

In addition, Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian allegedly sell consumer reports of people they claim to be deceased to third parties in an automated fashion and without any specific or general certification that explains their reasons for doing so. After all, the three companies know a deceased consumer would not apply for credit nor have any use for it.

“Our client has lost out on credit card loans and other credit opportunities because the “Big Three” U.S. credit reporting agencies have allegedly failed to follow federal law and fix a clear error that they have allowed to appear on their credit reports,” said Siobhán McGreal, the lawyer at Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C. who filed the lawsuit. “As we allege in the complaint, the defendants here do not employ procedures that federal law requires them to employ that would have prevented our very much alive client from being designated as ‘deceased’ on the defendants’ credit reports.”

The complaint alleges Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian violated the FCRA by failing to follow reasonable procedures to assure the maximum possible accuracy of the information they reported about our client, which led to the companies falsely claiming our client was deceased. According to the complaint, our client has disputed the inaccurate information with the three credit reporting agencies from September 2021 through the present. However, all three companies allegedly lack the procedures to confirm a consumer is deceased even when the consumer communicates directly with them, as our client did.

Additionally, despite our client’s efforts, according to the complaint, Equifax has never:

  1. Contacted our client to follow up on, verify, and/or elicit more specific information about her disputing her being designated as deceased;
  2. Contacted all third parties that would have relevant information concerning her disputes; 
  3. Forwarded any relevant information concerning her 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.

Also, Genesis FS Card Services, the furnisher of the inaccurate information, has failed to conduct timely and reasonable investigations of our client’s disputes after credit reporting agencies have contacted it regarding her disputes. The company has willfully continued to report such inaccurate information to various credit reporting agencies and did not properly mark our client’s account as disputed.

Despite our client’s exhaustive efforts to date, the four defendants have allegedly deliberately, willfully, intentionally, recklessly, and negligently repeatedly failed to perform reasonable investigations/reinvestigations of our client’s disputes as required by the FCRA, have failed to remove the inaccurate information, and have continued to report the inaccurate information about her.

As a result of the four defendants’ alleged misconduct, our client has suffered actual damages in the form of lost loan and 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, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.

If your consumer report or employment 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.