FCRA lawsuit against Bank of America for false credit reporting


FCRA lawsuit against Bank of America for false credit reporting

The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) prohibits false credit reporting of any type.  We recently filed a case against Bank of America, Experian, and TransUnion (two of the major credit reporting agencies).

You can read the facts below that were alleged in Federal Court but here is a summary.

Our client was foreclosed on by Bank of America and there was no further debt owed.  Several years after the foreclosure Bank of America starting reporting that our client owed the full amount of the loan even though the loan was paid off years ago in the foreclosure.

So our client disputed this with the credit reporting agencies and after it was not fixed our client decided that federal court would be the right place to go to fix this problem.

If you have questions about the FCRA and your credit reports and you live in Alabama, give us a call at 205-879-2447 or use our contact form and we will be happy to get with you.

COMPLAINT

COMES NOW the Plaintiff, by and through counsel, and for Plaintiff’s Complaint against the Defendants states as follows:

  1. This action arises out of Defendants’ repeated violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. [hereinafter “FCRA”] and out of state law violations which all relate to a debt with Bank of America, N.A. that is not owed by Plaintiff.

JURISDICTION

  1. Personal jurisdiction exists over Defendants as they have the necessary minimum contacts with the State of Alabama and this suit arises out of their specific conduct with Plaintiff in Alabama.  All the actions described in this suit occurred in Alabama.
  2. Subject matter jurisdiction exists under federal question jurisdiction (28 U.S.C. Section 1331) and through diversity jurisdiction (28 U.S.C. Section 1332) as the amount claimed exceeds $75,000.00 between these diverse parties.

VENUE

  1. Venue is proper as Plaintiff lives in this judicial district, the events took place in this judicial district, and the Defendants do business in this judicial district.

PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff  Christopher R. Hudson (hereinafter “Plaintiff”) is a natural person who is a resident of this judicial district in Alabama.
  2. Defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“Defendants” or “BOA[1]“) is a foreign company that furnishes consumer credit information to consumer reporting agencies.  15 U.S.C. §1681s-2.  It is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of business in North Carolina.
  3. Defendant Trans Union, LLC (“Defendants” or “Trans Union[2]“) is a foreign company that engages in the business of maintaining and reporting consumer credit information.  It is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of business in Illinois.
  4. Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Defendants” or “Experian[3]“) is a foreign company that engages in the business of maintaining and reporting consumer credit information.  It is incorporated in Ohio and has its principal place of business in California.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

 

Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union

Falsely Credit Report the Defendant BOA Account

  1. Plaintiff’s home was foreclosed by Defendant BOA[4] and no money was owed after the foreclosure on January 14, 2010.
  2. Defendant BOA has recently starting claiming that Plaintiff owes money to Defendant BOA through BOA’s credit reporting on Plaintiff.
  3. This is untrue as Plaintiff owes no money to BOA and has not since at least January 2010.
  4. Defendant BOA reported and has continued to report to the credit reporting agencies that Plaintiff owes a balance to Defendant BOA and has been late in paying since January 2010.
  5. Plaintiff has disputed directly to Defendants Experian, Trans Union and BOA explaining that no debt is owed to Defendant BOA.
  6. Defendants Experian, Trans Union, and BOA, however, refused to properly investigate and delete the tradeline or properly update the tradeline on Plaintiff’s credit reports.
  7. Defendants Experian, Trans Union, and BOA know this debt is not owed.
  8. Plaintiff does not owe this money to Defendant BOA.
  9. Defendants were not concerned about and did not care about the fact that the BOA account was falsely reporting on Plaintiff’s credit reports as Defendants did not intend to perform a reasonable investigation.
  10. Defendants did not perform any type of reasonable investigation.
  11. Defendants Experian and Trans Union notified Defendant BOA in accordance with the FCRA of the dispute by the Plaintiff.
  12. Alternatively, Defendants Experian and Trans Union did not properly notify Defendant BOA and, as a part of this failure, did not include all relevant information provided by Plaintiff in their notification of Defendant BOA.
  13. Defendants Experian, Trans Union, and BOA failed to properly investigate these disputes as if Defendants had properly investigated, the BOA account would have been deleted.
  14. Despite knowing that the BOA account is false, Defendants Experian and Trans Union have completely abdicated their obligations under federal and state law and have instead chosen to merely “parrot” whatever their customer, Defendant BOA, has told them to say.
  15. Defendant Trans Union know courts have condemned the practice of “parroting” but yet they continue to do so.
  16. Defendants Trans Union and Experian have a policy to favor the paying customer, in this situation Defendant BOA.

Reason for Keeping False Information on Credit Reports

  1. The primary reason why Defendants have placed and kept this false information on Plaintiff’s reports is that furnishers (such as Defendant BOA) provide enormous financial rewards to Defendants Experian and Trans Union.
  2. The importance of keeping false information on credit reports is that all the Defendants understand that one of the most powerful methods furnishers have to wrench payment from a consumer is by placing and keeping false accounts on the consumer’s credit reports.
  3. Defendant BOA has a policy and procedure to refuse to properly update credit reports of consumers, like Plaintiff, who do not owe the alleged debt.
  4. The reason is to keep false information on the credit report to force Plaintiff to pay a debt that is not owed.
  5. Defendant BOA has promised through its subscriber agreements or contracts to accurately update accounts but Defendant BOA has willfully, maliciously, recklessly, wantonly, and/or negligently failed to follow this requirement as well as the requirements set forth under the FCRA and state law, which has resulted in the intended consequences of this information remaining on Plaintiff’s credit reports.
  6. Defendant BOA assumed a duty, through the subscriber agreement and other actions, to accurately report the balances and this duty was breached in a negligent, wanton, reckless, willful, intentional, and/or malicious manner.
  7. Defendant BOA has a policy to “park” its accounts on credit reports.  This is a term in the industry for keeping a false account on the credit report so that the consumer will be forced to pay money in order to obtain a refinancing or to qualify for a loan or to increase the consumer’s credit score from the artificially lowered score which directly resulted from the Trans Union, Experian  and BOA Defendants’ intentional and malicious conduct.
  8. In parking or allowing the parking of an account, these Defendants know they are violating their obligations and duties under federal and state law to accurately report the account.
  9. Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union know that parking a false account will lead to false and defamatory information being published every time the Plaintiff’s credit report is accessed (as happened to Plaintiff) and this is the malicious and intentional design behind Defendants’ actions with the goal to force the Plaintiff to pay on an account Plaintiff does not owe.
  10. Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union maliciously, willfully, intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently failed to review the information provided in the disputes and that was already in their files and to conduct a reasonable investigation on Plaintiff’s disputes, which led as a direct result and consequence to Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union either failing to delete information found to be inaccurate, failing to replace the inaccurate information with accurate information, and/or reinserting the information without following the dictates of the FCRA.
  11. At all relevant times the Defendants Experian and Trans Union failed to maintain and failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit report, concerning the account in question, violating 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) and state law.
  12. Defendant BOA failed to properly maintain and failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit information and Plaintiff’s credit report, concerning the account in question, thus violating state law and the FCRA.  These violations occurred before, during, and after the dispute process began with the Defendants Experian and Trans Union.

Summary of Wrongful Conduct

  1. Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union understand that one of the most effective ways to collect bogus debts is to credit report against Alabama consumers such as Plaintiff.
  2. Defendant BOA has taken illegal aggressive actions in a continued effort to collect the alleged debt against Plaintiff.  These actions include the continued reporting of the debt to third parties, including consumer-reporting agencies such as Defendants Experian and Trans Union.
  3. The Defendants Experian and Trans Union have failed to maintain Plaintiff’s account with maximum accuracy and these Defendants and Defendant BOA have failed to properly investigate the account in response to the disputes made by Plaintiff.
  4. The conduct of the Defendants has proximately caused Plaintiff past and future monetary loss, past and future damage to Plaintiff’s credit and credit worthiness, past and future mental distress and emotional anguish, and other damages that will be presented to the trier of fact.
  5. It is a practice of all of the Defendants to maliciously, willfully, recklessly, wantonly and/or negligently ignore and refuse to follow the requirements of the FCRA and state law.
  6. All Defendants know their conduct is wrong and have been sued multiple times for this type of wrongful conduct.
  7. Significant punitive damages are needed to stop this type of inappropriate behavior from continuing to happen.
  8. All actions taken by employees, agents, servants, or representatives of any type for the Defendants were taken in the line and scope of such individuals (or entities’) employment, agency or representation.
  9. All actions taken by the Defendants were done with malice, were done willfully, and were done with either the desire to harm Plaintiff and/or with the knowledge that their actions would very likely harm Plaintiff and/or that their actions were taken in violation of the FCRA and/or state law and/or that they knew or should have known that their actions were in reckless disregard of the FCRA and/or state law.
  10. All Defendants have engaged in a pattern and practice of wrongful and unlawful behavior with respect to accounts and consumer reports and as such all Defendants are subject to punitive damages and statutory damages and all other appropriate measures to punish and deter similar future conduct by these Defendants and similar companies.
  11. All Defendants are liable to Plaintiff through the doctrine of Respondeat Superior for the wrongful, intentional and negligent acts, errors, and omissions done in violation of state and federal law by their employees and agents, including, but not limited to, violations of the FCRA and Alabama tort law, in their attempts to collect this debt from Plaintiff.

NEGLIGENT AND WANTON HIRING AND SUPERVISION

  1. Defendants negligently and/or wantonly hired, trained, retained, or supervised incompetent agents and employees and are thereby responsible to the Plaintiff for the wrongs committed against Plaintiff and the damages suffered by Plaintiff.

CAUSES OF ACTION

COUNT I

VIOLATING THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

  1. Plaintiff incorporates by reference all paragraphs of this Complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Defendants Experian and Trans Union are “consumer reporting agencies,” as codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(e).
  3. Defendant BOA is an entity who, regularly and in the course of business, furnishes information to one or more consumer reporting agencies about its transactions or experiences with any consumer and therefore constitutes a “furnisher,” as codified at 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2.
  4. Plaintiff notified Defendants Experian and Trans Union directly of a dispute on the Defendant BOA account’s completeness and/or accuracy, as reported.
  5. Defendants Experian and Trans Union failed to delete information found to be inaccurate, reinserted the information without following the FCRA, or failed to properly investigate Plaintiff’s disputes.
  6. Plaintiff alleges that at all relevant times Defendants Experian and Trans Union failed to maintain and failed to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of Plaintiff’s credit report, concerning the accounts in question, violating 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b).
  7. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants BOA,  Experian and Trans Union failed to conduct a proper and lawful reinvestigation.
  8. All actions taken by the Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union were done with malice, were done willfully, and were done with either the desire to harm Plaintiff and/or with the knowledge that their actions would very likely harm Plaintiff and/or that their actions were taken in violation of the FCRA and state law and/or that knew or should have known that their actions were in reckless disregard of the FCRA and state law.
  9. All of the violations of the FCRA proximately caused the injuries and damages set forth in this Complaint.

COUNT II

INVASION OF PRIVACY

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates by reference all of the paragraphs of this Complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Alabama law recognizes Plaintiff’s right to be free from invasions of privacy and Defendants violated Alabama state law as described in this Complaint.
  3. Congress explicitly recognized a consumer’s inherent right to privacy in collection matters in passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, when it stated as part of its findings:

Abusive debt collection practices contribute to the number of personal bankruptcies, to marital instability, to the loss of jobs, and to invasions of individual privacy.

 

15 U.S.C. § 1692(a) (emphasis added).

  1. Congress further recognized a consumer’s right to privacy in financial data in passing the Gramm Leech Bliley Act, which regulates the privacy of consumer financial data for a broad range of “financial institutions” including debt collectors (albeit without a private right of action), when it stated as part of its purposes:

It is the policy of the Congress that each financial institution has an affirmative and continuing obligation to respect the privacy of its customers and to protect the security and confidentiality of those customers’ nonpublic personal information.

 

15 U.S.C. § 6801(a) (emphasis added).

  1. Defendants and/or their agents intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently interfered, physically or otherwise, with the solitude, seclusion and or private concerns or affairs of the Plaintiff, namely, by repeatedly and unlawfully attempting to collect a debt and/or falsely credit report and thereby invaded Plaintiff’s privacy.
  2. Defendants and their agents intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently caused emotional harm to Plaintiff by engaging in highly offensive conduct in the course of credit reporting, thereby invading and intruding upon Plaintiff’s right to privacy.
  3. Plaintiff had a reasonable expectation of privacy in Plaintiff’s solitude, seclusion, private concerns or affairs, and private financial information.
  4. The conduct of the Defendants and their agents, in engaging in the above-described illegal collection conduct against Plaintiff, resulted in multiple intrusions and invasions of privacy by Defendants which occurred in a way that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in that position.
  5. The false credit reporting by Defendant BOA, Trans Union and Experian naturally resulted in invasions of privacy of Plaintiff.
  6. As a result of all intrusions and invasions of privacy, Plaintiff is entitled to actual damages in an amount to be determined at trial from Defendants.
  7. All acts of Defendants and their agents and/or employees were committed with malice, intent, wantonness, and/or recklessness and as such Defendants are subject to punitive damages.

COUNT III

NEGLIGENT, WANTON, AND/OR INTENTIONAL HIRING AND

SUPERVISION OF INCOMPETENT EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS

 

  1. Plaintiff incorporates by reference all of the paragraphs of this Complaint as though fully stated herein.
  2. Defendants allowed and encouraged their agents and employees to break the law.
  3. Defendants are aware of the wrongful conduct of their agents and employees.
  4. Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union know and approve of their incompetent employees and agents who are involved in credit reporting.
  5. All Defendants negligently, wantonly, and/or intentionally hired, trained, retained, or supervised incompetent credit reporting individuals and/or entities, who were allowed or encouraged to violate the law as was done to Plaintiff, and Defendants are thereby responsible to the Plaintiff for the wrongs committed against Plaintiff and the damages suffered by Plaintiff.

COUNT IV

NEGLIGENT, WANTON, AND INTENTIONAL CONDUCT

  1. All paragraphs of this Complaint are expressly adopted and incorporated herein as if fully set forth herein.
  2. Defendants owe a duty to anyone they come in contact with to act reasonably so as to not unreasonably cause harm.
  3. Defendants assumed a duty to act reasonably towards Plaintiff and not to unreasonably cause Plaintiff harm.
  4. Defendants owe a duty to consumers against whom they are collecting to act reasonably.
  5. All of the actions described in this Complaint demonstrate that Defendants did not act reasonably towards the Plaintiff.
  6. Defendants by their described conduct, breached their duty to act reasonably towards Plaintiff.
  7. Defendants proximately caused injuries and damages to Plaintiff which were of the precise nature that Defendants anticipated causing when they breached their duty to act reasonably.
  8. Defendants knew, or should have known, that their conduct was likely to lead to the Plaintiff’s injuries yet they acted despite this knowledge.
  9. Defendants acted with full knowledge and with the design and intent to cause harm to Plaintiff.
  10. Defendants were successful in their design, intent, and plan to cause harm to Plaintiff and this is the corporate policy of Defendants when dealing with consumers who do not pay debts that Defendants allege are owed.
  11. Defendants acted with negligence, malice, wantonness, recklessness, and/or intentional conduct in their dealings with and about Plaintiff as set forth in this Complaint.
  12. Defendants violated all of the duties Defendants had and such violations were made intentionally, willfully, recklessly, maliciously, wantonly, and negligently.
  13. It was foreseeable, and Defendants did in fact foresee that the actions of the Defendants would lead and did lead to the exact type of harm suffered by Plaintiff.
  14. Defendants acted with negligence, malice, wantonness, recklessness, and/or intentional conduct in their dealings with and about Plaintiff as set forth in this Complaint.
  15. Defendants invaded the privacy of Plaintiff as set forth in Alabama law.
  16. Such negligence, malice, wantonness, recklessness, willfulness, and/or intentional conduct proximately caused the damages set forth in this complaint.
  17. Defendants have defamed Plaintiff even after Plaintiff requested in writing that Defendants withdraw the false statements.
  18. As a result of this conduct, action, and inaction of Defendants, Plaintiff has suffered damage as set forth in this Complaint.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that judgment be entered against all Defendants BOA, Experian and Trans Union for all damages allowable (including statutory, actual, compensatory, nominal and punitive), costs, expenses, attorney fees, injunctive relief to prevent further violations, and for such other and further relief as may be just and proper.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

                                                     

John G. Watts (ASB-5819-t82j)

 M. Stan Herring (ASB-1074-n72m)

Watts & Herring, LLC

The Kress Building

301 19th Street North

Birmingham, Alabama 35203

(205) 879-2447

(888) 522-7167 facsimile

[email protected]

[email protected]

Attorneys for Plaintiff

 

 

 

PLAINTIFF DEMANDS A TRIAL BY JURY IN THIS CAUSE.

 

                                                                                                           

                                                      Attorney for Plaintiff

 

 

 

 


 

Serve defendants via certified mail at the following addresses:

Bank of America, N.A.

c/o CT Corporation System

2 North Jackson Street, Suite 605

Montgomery, Alabama 36109

 

Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

c/o CT Corporation System

2 N. Jackson Street, Suite 605

Montgomery, Alabama 36104

 

Trans Union, LLC

c/o Prentice-Hall Corporation System, Inc.

150 S. Perry Street

Montgomery, Alabama 36104

 

 

 


[1] “BOA” means Bank of America, N.A. directly or through its employees and agents who were involved in any credit reporting activities or communications to or related to Plaintiff.

[2] “Trans Union” means Trans Union directly or through its employees and agents who were involved in any credit reporting activities.

[3] “Experian” means Experian directly or through its employees and agents who were involved in any credit reporting activities.

[4] The foreclosure was conducted by Defendant BOA’s servicer BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP which no longer exists.


18 Comments

  1. […] 8 January 2014FCRA lawsuit against Bank of America for false credit reporting […]

  2. Elle says:

    Very best wishes for a successful outcome. All of these arrogant, contemptible predators need to be sued often and thoroughly for the methodical and calculated harassment, torment and damage they so flagrantly and maliciously inflict on the consumers that make it possible for them to exist. It’s revolting. Congratulations to the plaintiff for having the courage to stand up to these parasites and kudos to Watts & Herring for having the character to represent her. This information has been extremely helpful to me because I’m going through a very similar nightmare with Ocwen Loan Servicing and the credit bureaus. Now I understand why they show such contempt for the law and consumer rights in spite of glaring evidence that they’re in the wrong.
    I hope you win and win BIG. We need to be as relentless in the fight for our rights against these greedy scum bags as they are in the destruction of our lives and reputations. I wonder if they’ve ever heard of David and Goliath.
    Bless you in your courage and good luck. On behalf of (millions of) Americans across the nation who are preyed upon by these vultures I thank you for setting an important example and for fighting the good fight.

    • John Watts says:

      Thank you Elle for your kind comments.

      We are proud of our client for fighting back.

      Ocwen Loan Servicing — what can I say?

      They don’t have the most sterling of reputation for handling loan servicing too well, do they?

      Remember if you have errors on your credit report when dealing with Ocwen you may have multiple laws to help you.

      First, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) if you have properly disputed the wrong information. This would apply to Ocwen and the credit reporting agencies.

      Second, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which normally will apply to Ocwen as Ocwen normally takes loans after they are in default (i.e. not paid on the exact due date but paid late). It will not apply to the credit bureaus but it can be very powerful against Ocwen. It prohibits any type of false credit reporting by a “debt collector” which Ocwen is normally a “debt collector.”

      Third, you may have some state law claims. In Alabama we don’t have much to work with but if you live in another state you may have some type of state version of the FDCPA or a law called “Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act” or some similar sounding title. This may give you some relief also — often these laws have a “treble” damage provision.

      Best wishes and let me know how your lawsuit is going for you.

      Thanks again for your great comment!

      John Watts
      Birmingham, Alabama

  3. Bill Woodson says:

    My client has asked me to help him with a false report to the credit reporting agencies that he continues to owe a debt canceled in a “short sale” of his residence back in California in 2010. In 2013 BofA began reporting to the credit agencies that he is “past due” on the entire amount of money, such that his current efforts to refi on his current home in North Carolina have gone sour. I sure do like the allegations you have made, because they seem right on the money. I have yet to send out the threat letter to BofA, and wanted your thoughts on where to send such a letter, and specific things to say in that letter. I’m a relocated employment rights atty now living in Austin, TX area. Let me know your thoughts if you don’t mind. Thanks, Bill W.

    • John Watts says:

      Bill,

      Thanks for your comment. Here are some thoughts for you and I’ll be glad to chat with you directly by phone if you are interested (205-879-2447).

      I’m assuming since his residence in CA he is not liable for any “deficiency” as I understand (but don’t know) that a foreclosure on a personal residency means no personal liability on the deficiency. It may be the same is true for a short sale. Do you know?

      The short sale agreement itself may give you the answer as it likely says there is no further liability.

      So the credit reporting would be false if those assumptions above are correct.

      Generally the place to start is to dispute with the credit reporting agencies (and copy Bank of America) to give BOA a chance to do the right thing.

      If they do, then great.

      If they don’t, then you can sue under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and possibly under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as often BoA is considered a debt collector. Question is did BoA get the loan when it was in default or when it was current?

      Give me a call if you would like to chat about this and thanks again for your comments/questions.

      John Watts

      • Todd says:

        My wife and I are in a very similar situation at this very moment. We finalized a deed in lieu with Ocwen 17 months ago and we find out that Ocwen transferred this false loan over to SelectnPortfolio last November 2014. We recently found out thatn Ocwen failed to record the Deed of Trust and cannot seem to produce one. So long story short Select Portfolio placed this $242,000 debt that we deeded over a year and a half ago on our credit report. My wife and I were in the process of buying a small townhome, and we’re approved, until the false mortgage hit our credit bureau. What a mess.

        Todd.

        • John Watts says:

          Todd,

          As the old saying goes, “Someone has some ‘plaining to do.”

          What you described should not happen.

          If you live in Alabama give us a call at 205-879-2447 and we can walk you through your options. If you live outside of Alabama get with a consumer or financial protection attorney in your state to help you.

          Fortunately when the transfer happened, you have the new RESPA laws to help you. There are going to be a number of ways to solve this problem but I feel like based on what you wrote that this can be fixed.

          My suggestion is jump on this immediately so you can get your credit report straightened out and possibly get compensation from these mortgage companies, particularly if they don’t immediately fix this mess.

          205-879-2447 if you live in Alabama.

          Best wishes!

          John Watts

          • Todd says:

            Thanks for the comments. We are in Des Moines Iowa. To say the least we were blindsided last fall when we get this information. Ocwen had even placed the home on the market for approximately 8 months. I believe actually had it sold 2 times, but I believe came to a halt with the Deed issue? They also sent us a relocation fee check after the deed in lieu and changed the locks out on the home. We thought this was behind us and then get this information a year later. Ocwen messed up and now are throwing their proble over to Select Portfolio. Select Portfolio has sent us Collection statements per mail. Asking to do a possible modification etc?.

  4. Jim Schuller says:

    Todd,

    My female client was going through a divorce and applied for a mortgage to buy a house, but was turned down due to a bad credit report. The only negative part of the report was from Bank of America, which falsely reported a 120 day delinquency on a line of credit debt. Client could not get a live person to solve the problem by telephone and wrote immediately to the bank and the credit bureau. No reponse, loan killed.

    So client then went to another mortgage company in connection with further complaints to the error-makers. No response from BOA, loan app denied.

    On a third application attempt the mortgage company managed to arrange a three-way teleconference with BOA in wich the bank rep admitted that there was never any delinquency at all. Loan was approved but correction was never made to the credit report. Client finally got that in writing from BOA, after all this trouble and expense.

    Client has about $2500 in costs wrapped up in the two mortgage apps, the home inspection etc. Do the federal statutory remedies allow for recovery of attorney fees? Is there any legal leverage available for folks like this?

    You thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Jim Schuller says:

    John —

    Sorry… Got your name wrong in the salutation… took it from the previous blog entry.

    Jim S

  6. Joseph w says:

    Boa harassed me after my bankruptcy was discharged saying they bought a loan that didn’t exist. They lost a class action lawsuit because of false claim and I recieved settlement check. But know they are claiming they were in my bankruptcy, which they were not. Trying to get removed from credit report but not going well. Contacted consumer protection agency and in process of sending bankruptcy papers to them. Honestly can’t understand how BOA or credit agencies can post fraudulent claims. Especially after lose court case.

    • John Watts says:

      Joseph,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m a little unclear on the sequence of events. Help me understand the order:

      1. You filed bankruptcy

      2. You received a discharge

      3. Then Bank of America (BOA) said they bought a debt that you know was discharged?

      4. And BOA is on your credit report?

      If that is the sequence, then you may be able to get this removed as I’m not sure what BOA claims to have bought. We have sued BOA a number of times for bogus credit reporting after a bankruptcy.

      If you live in Alabama give us a call at 205-879-2447 and ask for Carolyn and she can get the details and set us up a call.

      If you are outside of Alabama, let me know and I may can refer you to a lawyer who does this type of work in your state.

      Thanks for your comment and do let me know if I understand what happened.

      John Watts

  7. JD says:

    I have been looking for an attorney to represent me in a case of a collection agency furnishing a fabricated (homemade), false billing verification to the reporting agencies and they continue to report on my credit report. The reason that I know it’s fake, first, they copy and pasted the wrong codes, dates,etc. and I have the original billing statement from seven years ago. They probably thoufht that I didn’t keep my old original bills. I have disputed this issue over and over to no avail. If anyone knos of an attorney for Sacramento Ca. Contact me.

    • John Watts says:

      JD,

      Sorry you are dealing with this type of non sense. I don’t know an attorney in Sacramento but you could check with Robert F. Brennan in southern California. He knows the FCRA very well and either he could help you or he could refer you to someone in your part of the state.

      Here are some thoughts for you.

      If you know it is false bill, you can consider disputing it with the collection agency and the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and I would check on Sagestream and Innovis also).

      If they won’t fix the problem, you can consider suing under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). You can also look at California laws that might help you.

      Get with a lawyer out there and they can walk you through your options to get rid of this false information.

      Best wishes!

      John Watts

  8. Do you have a contact in SW Florida? Here is what I am up against as summarized in letters to BOA, Credco, Transunion & Experian:
    I have enclosed documents, detailed as follows:

    1. Letters sent to each of the credit reporting companies 12/2016;
    2. Banking Statements for all of 2016 regarding the above loan;
    3. Mortgage Modification Letter showing payments due during modification period with advance payment authorization and confirmation codes;
    4. Equifax Credit File dated 1/23/2017;
    5. Core Logic Credit Report showing BOA reflecting 30 and 60 days late on payments.

    I am writing to dispute the following information in my file. There are errors in the credit reporting and servicing of this account. Note that funds required to be paid are now and have always been auto debit from my checking account. I inquired about the equity line modification in May 2016 due to a pending rate increase. The increase was not yet in effect. I submitted required documentation and was approved for a modification, never having missed a payment. I had all 3 trial modification payments pre-authorized to be debited from the aforementioned checking account. After the modification had taken place, unknown to me, the banking system automatically increased the original loan interest until the modification was “BOOKED”. This change triggered an internal error that I was making only partial payments under my modification when in fact, I was paying as agreed and instructed, per Bank of America documentation and terms.

    I have previously tried numerous times contacting Bank of America so that this error may be corrected. This reporting has done immeasurable damage to my credit rating and I request your prompt review and action.

    Mr. Watts: Any help you can provide would be appreciated.

    • John Watts says:

      Julia,

      I don’t know anyone in particular in Southwest Florida. What would be the nearest large city for you? Miami or are you closer to Tampa/St. Pete?

      A couple of thoughts for you while you find the right lawyer. And I’m sure you have done some or all of these but wanted to get them out to you anyway…..

      1. Make sure you document everything.

      2. Make sure you have looked at every possible argument from the bad guys and you have an answer for it. Never underestimate how low these guys will go — how they will lie, will make up bogus junk, to argue against you. We always want to think through every option and then have an answer for it.

      3. Look at your current credit reports — all of them. Including Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, Innovis, and Sagestream.

      4. Look at using RESPA to help you — even with credit reports. Request for information letters and Notice of Error letters can be very helpful. Basically asking “why did you do this” and “you made an error — fix it”.

      5. Make sure you can document your damages and the timing of the damages. In other words, what actions of Equifax, Bank of America, etc. led to what damages. Economic, emotional, etc.

      6. Can you show that you have tried to fix this problem? By phone? Letter?

      7. Being in Florida, you may can use the Florida version of the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) called the FCCPA (Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act). The FDCPA can be very helpful in dealing with your mortgage company but do be aware it has a one-year statute of limitations so you may be coming up on that quickly. I think the FCCPA may be the same.

      Let me know where closest city or big city is and I may know someone that can help you and think about the items above.

      Hope that is of some help to you and sorry you are having to deal with this…

      John Watts

  9. Gregg Chasen says:

    Hello John, Bank of America continues to report my account as delinquent for the months of November and December 2015 and delinquent for the months of January and February 2016. I was offered a Streamline loan modification trial by Bank of America on November 12th 2015, which I accepted promptly. The agreed monthly trial payments were $1,739.73. Bank of America drafted my checking account for the 3 agreed trial payments on 11/25/2015, 1/08/2016 and 2/8/2016. The loan was permanently modified on March 1, 2016 and the payment was re-adjusted to $1,735.75, which was paid promptly. All 4 payments were made on time. I have disputed the false credit reporting multiple times with no success. I sent copies of the accepted trial modification letter, proof of the 4 payments made on time as agreed, that included copies of the cleared checks.I also provided a copy of the executed loan modification agreement. One would think, this would be a simple matter to correct? I am amazed at their total disregard and incompetence! Keep up your good work! Hopefully, someone will prevail with a huge 9 or 10 figure judgement, that will finally get their attention!

    • John Watts says:

      Gregg,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m sorry you are dealing with Bank of America on this issue.

      First thing I would do is read over the trial modification paperwork very carefully. Often Bank of America (BOA) will say that even if you make the payments, you will be reported as delinquent because you actually owed more than you paid.

      If the agreement says this and you accepted it, that will have a major impact on what you can do.

      Second, has BOA written to you directly to tell you why they are reporting these payments as late? What did BOA say about it?

      Third, get with a consumer protection lawyer in your state — you need someone who understands mortgage/foreclosure issues and someone who understands the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

      You may be good to sue now or you may need to do additional disputes or it is possible you have no claim at all (depending on what the paperwork said that you agreed to) but I would definitely check out those options.

      If you are in Alabama give us a call at 205-879-2447 and we’ll be happy to help you think through these options. Otherwise, get with a good consumer protection lawyer (mortgage/foreclosure and credit reporting) to help you.

      Best wishes and hope you can get this cleared up ASAP!

      John Watts

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