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Do I have grounds for suit against auto dealer?

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Back in March of 2004, I was trying to trade out of a lemon Chrysler Sebring I bought a year before. I went to Keffer Mitsubishi in Huntersville, NC because my sister said she was freinds with the manager and he may be able to help.

To make a long story short, I left the dealership without any progress and the manager said he would try to "help" me out. They called me the next day and wanted my social to run my credit to check my score. Turned out that they were unable to help out, unless I wanted to all but double my payment (heck no).

A couple weeks went by, no word from anyone, then I start getting credit rejection notices in the mail. All tolled, I received no less than 13 rejection letters in the mail, 13!!!

I got my triple credit report a few weeks ago, as well as each individual, and was shocked to find that the Keffer Mitsubishi Dealership had ran my credit 13 times in two days!! I still can't believe this. I was led to believe that they would pull it once, then shop for the best rate they could get. I never signed anything, only gave them verbal permission to pull my credit through Mitsubishi.

Now I am trying to get my first house and the mortgage broker said that these very excessive inquiries probably cost me around 40-50 points off my credit score(s) because they are "hard" pulls.

Now I find myself having to write all of these people that Keffer Mitsubishi pulled my credit through and trying to have them remove the inquiries.

Do I have grounds for legal action against the dealership or any of these credit companies who allowed this to happen without my permission?

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Well the mortgage company is SUPPOSED to look at ANY car financing pulls that happen in a 7day period as 1 pull.

Now here is the catch.

Did you ever SIGN anything giving these people permission to pull your credit?

I mean an actual application that gave them this permission.

If you didn't then I think you might have a HELLA good case to give to a good FCRA versed attorney.

You could really smack them for this one.

And do all the credit pulls show as the same company or different finance companies?

I would talk to the mortgage officer about submitting a letter of explanation to the underwriters about the credit pulls. If they are showing as the same company then the mortgage officer should realize that something is not right and take that into account.

If not then I think I would look into a new mortgage officer/broker/company.

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Auto dealers are trying to do anything to get you into a car, so they "shop" you around to all of their finance companies. I'm not sure what they did is legal, but I believe auto loan inquiries within a month also count as 1 inquiry, just like mortgages.

It does sound scummy.

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All of the inquiries that were placed by the dealer were through 13 different creditors. To top that off, I did not sign ANYTHING, PERIOD!!! No application, nothing!!

It makes sense that all the inquiries came from 13 different lenders. Once the auto dealer has your social, they have enough info to send your "application" (I know you didn't want to submit an application) to as many different lenders as they can to get a loan. This is common practice.

Since you did give them your social, it might be tough to prove that you weren't applying for a loan. I've given a mortgage company my social and had them shop for mortgages. Just my thoughts.

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But many dealers will require a SS# even if you are paying cash. Just because they have your social doesnt mean that you asked them to shop your credit report around to 13 million lenders.

I think without an actual acknowledgement and a signed credit app... they are up the creek

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Multiple credit pulls for the same purpose within a 15 day period count as just one pull so it shouldn't tank your scores.

Other than the dealership failing to disclose your score to you as required under the FACT Act amendments to the FCRA and failing to have you sign an application to back their need to do a pull, I don't see much in the way of a problem here. I don't think that failing to give you a score statement is actionable by a consumer, but doing a pull without permissable purpose is.

But lets be real about this, you gave them your SSN to run your credit. Even though you didn't sign an application, you did technically give them permission...it would be a hard-sell to sue for non-pp over this.

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I can attest that there is a limit to the number of pulls before your score takes a dive.

I had a dealership pull almost 13 inquiries trying to get me financed.

Let's think about this.... in their zeal to make a sale, each declination probably means you're moving down the list toward higher-risk, predatory lenders.

What's wrong with common sense? They can't call you after a declination because why?

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