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Experian Forgot to Do What it Said it Would Do

The Ninth Circuit recently reversed the determination of a district court that granted summary judgment against a plaintiff in a Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) class action case. That case involved Delbert, an entity which provided consumer pay day loans through its related entity CashCall, Inc. (“CashCall”). Delbert provided credit information on consumers relating to these pay day loans to Experian. Delbert reported approximately 127,000 consumer accounts to Experian. Delbert eventually went out of business and asked that Experian stop reporting loans that were associated with its subcode [1]. In other words, Delbert requested that Experian delete the 127,000 consumer accounts that were previously reported.

Experian agreed to do this and stated that it had deleted these accounts by January 2015.  Even though Experian claimed that it deleted the accounts, the fact is Experian did not.  In April 2016, Experian finally deleted approximately 124,000 of the Delbert accounts from its records.  During that time, Experian continued to report the pay day loans to numerous potential credit grantors.  The plaintiff even had the supposedly deleted Delbert loan reported by Experian to over thirty (30) different potential credit grantors between January 2015 and January 2016.

In reversing the district court’s decision to dismiss this FCRA class action case it stated the following:

A jury could not only conclude that Experian’s continued reporting of the Delbert account rendered Reyes’s credit report misleading in violation of the FCRA, but that Experian has “adopt[ed] a reading of the statute that runs a risk of error substantially greater than the risk associated with a reading that was merely careless.” Syed v. M-I, LLC, 853 F.3d 492, 504 (9th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Safeco, 551 U.S. at 69). A jury could also conclude that Experian’s extraordinarily lengthy delay in implementing its internal decision to delete the Delbert accounts (after it made the decision and after it essentially told Delbert that it had deleted the accounts) “entail[ed] ‘an unjustifiably high risk of harm that is either known or so obvious that it should be known.'” Safeco, 551 U.S. at 68 (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 836 (1994)).

Reyes v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 17-56699, at *5 (9th Cir. May. 17, 2019)

If you believe inaccurate information is listed on your credit report or you did not provide consent for your consumer information to be shared, it is important to seek the guidance of a skilled FCRA and Consumer Protection Attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys, contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC today by calling 855-996-6342.

[1] A “subcode” is a unique number that Experian assigns its data furnishers (i.e., entities that provide credit information relating to consumers) and customers. Experian’s internal policies dictate that a subcode should be deleted when the company associated with a subcode goes out of business.