Case study– suing Bank of America, Experian, and TransUnion under FCRA for false credit reporting
Summary of the case
They foreclosed on our client.
Bank of America sues for eviction or “ejectment”
This happens after the foreclosure to force you out of your home.
Consumer counter sues for wrongful foreclosure, including breach of contract
Along with some other claims all related to the wrongful foreclosure.
No money was owed to Bank of America after the foreclosure
Because they were fully paid in the foreclosure sale.
Lawsuit and counterclaims were resolved
The whole case was resolved.
You’d think that would be the end of the case, right?
Then Bank of America decided to report that the consumer owed the full balance– why?
Years later, they decide to do this as if the foreclosure never took place.
As if Bank of America had never been paid.
As if a lawsuit never took place.
Why would they do this?
Well, its the reason you would report stuff on a credit report.
If someone owes you money, you keep a record of it because you want to be paid back.
Bank of America put it on the report because they wanted to be paid.
Consumer owed no money to Bank of America
Yet, it’s on the credit report. Confused? Welcome to the world of the big mortgage companies in America….
Consumer disputed this with the credit reporting agencies
Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Experian kept the false information on the consumer’s credit report.
TransUnion kept the false information on the consumer’s credit report.
Equifax, surprisingly, actually removed the false information.
Bank of America told the reporting agencies to keep the false information on the consumer’s credit report
Why would they do that?
Because it’s an incredible motivating force to consumers to say, “you have to pay us money if you want this off your credit report.”
Especially since you won’t be able to buy a house, a car, or get any type of credit if this is on your credit report.
It looks like we owe Bank of America, even though we don’t.
Having a late mortgage with a full balance is very damaging.
Bank of America knows this.
Experian knows this.
TransUnion knows this.
They all know this.
Consumers have a right to have correct credit reports
So if you don’t, then you need to use your rights under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) to get your reports fixed.
The solution is to sue Bank of America, Experian, and TransUnion in Federal Court for money damages.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets us know that we have a right to accurate credit reports.
If it’s wrong, we have the ability to dispute it.
Then the credit bureaus and the furnishers, the person or people who supply information to the credit bureau (in this case Bank of America), must investigate and fix the errors.
They have to make our credit report(s) accurate.
Alabama State Law
There are some state laws that apply in this case, such as defamation and invasion of privacy.
How can this help you?
Check your credit reports every year.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a mortgage company come back years later, after they’ve been paid in full through a foreclosure, a refinance, whatever it may be, and say that you owe them the full amount.
You have to check your credit reports to make sure that doesn’t happen. (Go to www.AnnualCreditReport.com to get your reports for free).
If something false is on there, dispute it or contact a consumer protection lawyer in your state.
Make sure that you dispute it correctly, or that you hire an attorney to help you correctly dispute it.
If it is not fixed, look into suing the bad guys in Federal Court.
That’s what we did in this case.
It’s amazing, when you sue the bad guys in Federal Court for false credit reporting, they will fix the credit report and delete the false information.
In addition, they have to pay you money damages.
Suing them is a powerful tool to get these guys to do the right thing.
When you do this, you are really helping two people.
You are helping yourself, because you get your credit report fixed and money damages in your pocket.
You are also helping your community, because your lawsuit will make your community a safer place.
When Bank of America, Wells Fargo, whoever it is, put false information out there, these credit bureaus allow this to happen.
In this particular case, Equifax fixed it, which is unusual, but good.
When these guys are thinking about if they should do false credit reporting, we want them to remember, “Ah, well when we did that in Alabama, we ended up having to pay a lot of money.”
It’s very powerful to sue these companies when they do false credit reporting.
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Have a great day!