Suing Experian - Need Help.

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by dtembe, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. dtembe

    dtembe Active Member

    I recently lost a mortgage due to incorrect entries in my credit report held by Experian. I have gone over the tri-merged report that I picked up from the Mortgage Broker and Consumer Disclosure reports run the night before and an hour after the tri merged was run.
    I found 3 violations of statutes of the FCRA. So I filled out the form for filing a small claims suit against Experian and went to the court house this morning.
    The clerks would not accept my claim paperwork since was I was not out actual $3000. I could not tell them about the loss of mortgage for $160000.00 since then it would definitely be more that the $5000.00 cap. that you can sue for in a small claims court in Dallas County, Texas.
    I need advice on how to proceed from here. I have enough information to file a suit in District court but don't know the procedure or have an attorney yet.
    The other question was could some one tell me where I can apply for credit for less than $5000.00 and get denied where they use my experian report so I can file for actual loss of that loan.
    Any help will be appreciated.
    If anyone knows of attorney who works in consumer law please forward me their information. Every consumer law attorney I spoke with was a Bankruptcy attorney and did not want to deal with FCRA violations case.
  2. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    If you file in US District court you have to have an atty. You don't know the procedures and you'd likely lose on procedure.

    In magistrate you could always sue for time and losses.

    Eg: add up your time and expenses, expenses being the costs of mailing etc.

    then tack on the FCRA violations. Technically the venue for FCRA is US District.

    If you have actual damages you should be able to do magistrate court.

    Once you get it filed and they get served they'll want to settle rather than go to court. You'll get them.

    If they won't let you file for that...

    you could go to a small bank and talk with them, show them your reports, and ask if you'd get declined. Ask for a 1,000 installmnent loan or something tangible. Go for unsecured.

    It'll more likely get declined. loss of loan 1,0000 fcra violations 3.000, expenses (time and mailing) xxx,keep it all under 5,000 if that's their limit.

    Once you have actual damages, the clerks should just file it (if the judge wants to throw it out that's different... but it won't get to that point). They don't want to go to court, not any court
  3. chriscraft

    chriscraft Well-Known Member

    They wouldn't let you file your claim? That is ludicrous. If I were you, I'd take my papers back to the court and ask to speak with a supervisor. As long as your paperwork is in order, you are in the proper court, and you pay the filing fees, you should be able to file your lawsuit. It is not up to the darned clerks to determine whether or not you have a valid claim. As long as you have stated that you have damages that are within the jurisdiction of the court, then they should file the documents. Then it will be up to you to provide evidence to support your damage claim and the defendant's liability therefor. Unbelievable. I would not stand for it.
  4. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    I agree with ChrisCraft... but the case is better w/actual damages anyway.

    Even if you put in your expenses (even if it's 3.94 for certified rr mail and then your hourly rate x time spend = actual damages it'll be better all around.

    If your point isn't monetary retribution but credit cleaning once you get it filed you're golden.

    If you really want the damages do US District. though your atty may cost you more than you can get from the lawsuit.
  5. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    I'm not an attorney, so I can't give you anything but a hopefully common sense answer. I am sure others will pop in with maybe better answers.

    My thinking is that you just might have to be willing to take somehting like the $5000 limit because you didn't actually lose anything in cash. It didn't actually cost you any money that you can prove in a court of law.

    Anyway, your actual mortgage would have been much more than that if that was the value of the property you were trying to buy.

    If you had been approved but had to pay a much higher interest rate because of this problem, then you might have been able to prove an actual damage.

    As it is now, I don't see how you can prove an actual cash damage upon which to base an award. That's what the clerks were telling you.

    I don't know what the law is in Texas, but it seems to me that you should have a right to address a grieviance in court whether you can prove actual damages or not, but I sure doubt that you could prove you lost 160,000 because the mortgage request was denied.

    I'd think that if Texas has a statute against defamation of credit you would be better off approaching it from that angle and it very well might be that $5,000 is about all that such a claim would be worth.

    I'd even question the law clerk's ability to tell you you could not sue for violation of FCRA because if that were true, then that would make everything Lizard King and some other people saying they filed suit for such things a total and complete lie, and I'm not going to believe that.

    I don't think you do either if you stop and think about it.
    So I'd rather think you got led astray in the courthouse before I'd want to think everybody else was lying on this board.

    Wouldn't you?
  6. dtembe

    dtembe Active Member

    I am not saying or insinuating for one moment that anyone else is lying on this board.

    I am pretty sure I can file in small claims court, but I just need to word the claim right.

    I just posted my experience from this morning at the county court house.

    I am going to go back there again and sue for actual losses. I am going to calculate my time, cost of 2 tri-merged reports and certified mailings costs.

    By the way, on the mortgage part , I have a approval from Citifinancial for a loan in the amount of $160000 (100%LTV at 8.55%), based on my Experian score of 663 (report date 6/5/01) and then a denial based on Experian score of 569 (report date 7/18/01). The differences on the report are the Beneficial loan which defaulted in 3/97 now shows as current collections, 2 more accounts ( Midland credit management and Asset Acceptance) both show date of last activity as 6/01. I defaulted on those accounts in 1995.
    The same accounts show the right ( 1995) date of last activity on consumer disclosures run by me an hour after the trimerged was run and 7 hours before the tri merged was run.

    I think that this should be enough information for a suit in US district court. But I don't have the money for an attorney nor do I know of one in Dallas who will take this case.

    Anyway, I am going to try the small claims road., I am going to drive up there and file for time and expenses and see how that goes.

    I even showed the clerk a copy of the FCRA willful non compliance part. But she just told me that I would have to go to US District Court. Since there is no actual damages just damages due to violation of FCRA rights.

    I will update once I get back from the court house.
    Thanks for the rapid replies everyone. I really appreciate the help.
  7. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member

    This is odd. You actually have an informed clerk!

    After you file for actual damages, can you ammend the complaint? If so, I'd then try to sneak the FCRA stuff in (because that's what you really want to sue them for).

    This is interesting. In my county they'll file anything as long as you pay them and then it's up to the judge to throw it out... but the cases are never heard before a judge, they're always settled.

    Looks like you're going to teach us a lot ;)
  8. dtembe

    dtembe Active Member

    Why is it always me ? :)
    Anyway I just spoke with the county clerk over the phone. She said that the Judge will only allow actual damages to be included into the suit.
    I cannot have FCRA violations, Defamation, negligence, etc included in the suit.
    Anyway, time and expenses came up to 534.14
    That is pathetic.
    I am thinking of going to the big county court house in Dallas Downtown, to see if I can sneak this by the clerks there.
    Will update this afternoon.
  9. breeze

    breeze Well-Known Member

    See if these guys are interested. They do class action consumer lawsuits, and I bet they could get one out of this. If two people on this board have this happen in 1 week's time, how many people do you suppose it happens to overall??

    I think they have offices in Dallas also, not sure.

  10. dtembe

    dtembe Active Member

    Just an update. I was able to file my small claims suit finally in a different county courthouse. The rules were the same, so I worded the claim differently.
    "damages caused by Experian including time and expenses"
    Amount $3535.14

    Anyway, I have all the paperwork with me. I just have to wait and see how this is going to work out.
    I am having them served through certified mail by the court.
    I wonder if I should call them or fax them a copy of the suit along with a letter to see if they are interested in mediation ?
  11. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    I don't get this. When I filed a suit with my local magistrates office the clerk gave me a paper. I filled it out. Gave it back, paid her the fee $57.50. That was it. it took about 15 minutes. I filled out the information before I went, then copied the information on their complaint form.

    That seems ridculous that a clerk has that much power. I think you need to investigate this matter.
  12. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    Also Check out You should be able to find an attorney in your area that will assist you.
  13. dtembe

    dtembe Active Member

    Thanks for the information Terry.
    How did your process of the suit through small claims court go ?
    Any hints on what I should do next ? Should I wait 2 to 3 weeks till they are served or should I send them a copy of the suit via Fax along with a letter informing them that I will dismiss the suit if they are willing to delete the derogs. ?
  14. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    I didn't contact them after I filed the suit. I let the Magistrate serve the Credit Agency. I new they were served because the Magistrate contataced me with a court date.

    Basically, I oulined my complaint. I showed how they violated the law, by not responding to my proof of the verification process. How they lied about verifying the information when in fact they didn't. I kept it very simple. I included statues in the law in which the didn't comply. I think Lizardking was right, keept it simple. I am not an attorney nor did I want to sound like one.

    Their response was to send me an updated credit report within 15 days of filing. They called to verify that I received the updated report. I told them I didn't want any of the 10 tradelines to ever show up again via some sort of update. I was assured in writing and given a number to call.

    If Experian doesn't comply its off to the magistrate again. I am tired of playing around. I have all of my documentation in place. Experian is my worst report. I caught them in a big lie. They claimed to have verified a judgement from my NDSL, and they didn't. The University informed me that NO one called to verify or sent any papers to verify. They sent me a letter stating this.

    I also have a letter from the Attorney General regarding a collection account that I filed a complaint. The Collection Agency sent a letter, to the attorney general, stating that they are removing the tradeline.

    Mysteriously, in February, Experian updated my car loan paid off 60 days past due. I have a letter from my lender stating they didn't update the loan as it was paid off. Experian screwed up a dispute and changed the notation.

    We all know Experian, I have a feeling they are going to verify the tradeline. If they do its off to court I go. I am so tired of playing around with them. I want 10 tradelines removed. I have 5 tradelines that should not be listed. I have letters from each stating they were never contacted by Experian.

    I created a clear and convincing papertrail. I am waiting to see how they verified the disputed tradeline. Experian is the most inept of the CRA's. If you dispute something and you KNOW you're right, or the Collection Agency can't validate the account. SUE!
  15. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    You seem to be saying that you have settled with them for what you wanted done in the first place. That seems silly to me, because you are out the time trouble and court costs.

    I'd want some cash along with it to make it worth while and pay the costs.
  16. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    To remove 10 neative tradelines for $57.50? Silly? I think not. Lets take a poll Bill. How many people would pay $57.50 to have a perfect credit report? without those tradelines coming back! Its basically the same cost as the program you market.
  17. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    All I am saying is that while you had the noose around their neck and the other end around your saddle horn you might as well have made them pay the $57.50 too and then maybe a little more for feed for the horse and the cost of the rope.


    Wasn't talking about whose methods were silly.
  18. Marie

    Marie Well-Known Member


    Which CRA did you sue for the 57.50?

    Did you mention all 10 tradelines specifically in your lawsuit or did you just mention the violations and they offered up the 10 deletions to settle?
  19. Terry

    Terry Well-Known Member

    Re: Terry

    Well I disputed 7 of the 10. When I filed the suit I listed 10 violations. I had documentation on 7, but they took it upon themselves to delete all 10. They mailed the report with all the tradelines deleted, the a few days later called.

Share This Page