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Credit Report and Collection Abuse


Damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act include economic damages as well as damages for humiliation and mental distress

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Robinson v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 560 F.3d 235 (4th Cir. 2009) Ms. Robinson had her identity stolen and the thief opened up fraudulent accounts in her name and under Ms. Robinson’s social security number.  Shortly after discovering that she had been a victim, Ms. Robinson filed a police report, called the Federal Trade Commission hotline and opened a case, and spent the next five months trying to correct the mistakes on her credit report. Equifax mistakenly placed Robinson’s address and social security number on three credit files established by the identify thief, each of which contained derogatory credit accounts. Consequently, Equifax sent various creditors requesting Ms. Robinson’s credit report her actual credit file along with one of the identity thief’s files. Because of these errors, Mrs. Robinson’s credit problems persisted and she had difficulties obtaining any type of credit for three years.  During this time period, each time Equifax…Read More

Authorized user of credit card gets negative info deleted

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Johnson v. MBNA Am.Bank, NA, 357 F.3d 426 (4th Cir. 2004) This case involved Linda Johnson, who sued MBNA for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act for failing to conduct a reasonable investigation of Johnson’s dispute concerning an MBNA account appearing on her credit report. At issue was a Mastercard account opened in 1987.  It is undisputed that Johnson’s ex-husband was one of the applicants.  MBNA claims that Johnson was a co-applicant with her ex-husband (“Slater”) while Johnson maintains that she was merely an authorized user. Slater filed for bankruptcy and MBNA removed his name from the account. MBNA contacted Johnson and informed her that she was responsible for the $17,000.00 balance.  After being informed of this, Johnson attempted to set up a reduced payment plan. She obtained her credit report from the three credit reporting agencies and filed disputes with each one.    The credit bureaus sent automated…Read More