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Need advice suing Palm Bay Chevrolet in 5days!!!


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I have a question i want to sue Palm Bay Chevrolet for pulling my Experian credit report without my permission they already sent me a letter saying they didn't have permission. So now im ready to sue them because they have not sent me my $1,000 nor have they deleted the Inquiry as i requested in my 2 previous Certified Mail letters i gave them enough time so now im ready to sue. I want to sue them in Federal Court so they know im not playing games and plus from what i read on this board its better to go to Federal court for FCRA Violations. But since the claim is only $1,000 can i still sue them in Federal Court. All answered welcomed.

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Im lost but under FCRA 616 Civil liability for willful noncompliance (a) 1 (B) in the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or $1,000, whichever is greater; How would the judge give me anything less than $1,000

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They basiclly sent me a letter saying that they cant find me in their records as a customer nor as a person applying for credit.But yet its on my experian credit as a Hard Pull. Not only that i showed them a copy of my experian report with the proof it being put on there and under the Inquiry it doesnt say Permissible Purpose.

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My question here is how did they get your name, address, DOB, and SSN to do a pull? Not being able to find paperwork and not having PP can be two different things.

There is more to this story than a car dealer pulling a random CR.

Plus, to get the $1000, you will have to prove that they KNOWINGLY pulled your CR without permission.

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They basiclly sent me a letter saying that they cant find me in their records as a customer nor as a person applying for credit.But yet its on my experian credit as a Hard Pull. Not only that i showed them a copy of my experian report with the proof it being put on there and under the Inquiry it doesnt say Permissible Purpose.

OK that is different than them saying "Yes we pulled it and yes we know we didn't have permission". It sounds like you received a form letter from them just saying "hey, we cant find you in our system".

You can't see a judge not giving you $1000? WHY? What damages have you incurred? Score took a dive because of one inquiry? Doubtful. Did someone deny you credit because of one inqury on one report? Did you go there and look at cars or over the internet - they got your info some how? If not, did you file a fraud alert?

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Wait a minute how would they win in court. With no proof whats so ever its my word against theirs.And they dont have nothing. But i do have proof of the Hard Inquiry put on their. Hey if they lost thier records who's fault is that.Sure not mines. The judge will say ok so how did that get on his report. Good luck explaing that.

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There are some real concerns here, with this seemingly random credit check. As Dive said HOW did they get your DOB SSN Name addr, etc.

Assuming you REALLY DID NOT apply for credit or look into buying a car and provide them with the information, then it throws up a huge red flag of potential ID theft. Perhaps by someone AT the dealership.

This is a very serious matter. I dont know what state you are in, but in my state of MA, it is a CRIME to obtain a credit report under false pretenses. Not just a civil infraction, but a criminal act punishable by jail time. It is also a criminal act under Federal law under title 18.

It is also a FCRA violation, and the penalty IS actual damages OR $1000 whichever is higher. The OP could now go apply for credit, get turned down or a higher interest rate, and suffer damage and claim the damages, but the OP having knowledge of the issue actually has a fuduciary duty to limit damages to himself, so avoiding applying for anything until this is settled is the best course of action.

The best course of action is to file in Federal court, if you want the best % chance of being awarded the $1,000. But ANY court of COMPETENT JURISDICTION can hear this case, so your state District court can hear the FCRA allegations, and any state law violations relating to the credit report being procured under false pretense. If there are also state claims once your research this, then district court is the place to go to include both.

Most states have laws on the books under consumer protection that cover obtaining credit reports. OP needs to hit the state law books and find out what the specifics are.

But as for a Judge being convinced of wrong doing here, and having to prove X Y Z, it is not going to be as difficult an argument as some here want you to believe. You dont need to have a video tape and a signed confession to get awarded the statutory penalty, you will need some proof and a solid argument to convince the judge the wrongdoing occured, they did it, they knew or should have known (they are in the business after all) it was wrong, and did it anyway. Given the facts reported here so far, that is not going to be difficult.

The creditor, with absolutely NO RELATIONSHIP with you, used false pretense to illegally obtain a copy of your consumer credit report. They are in a business that regularly lawfully obtains consumer credit reports, and will be hard pressed to explain HOW this happened. The chance exists that one of thier employee's is either involved in an ID theft operation. You may not be the only victim, there could be HUNDREDS!

Not only should you be pursuing recompense, but you should contact the District Attorney and file a criminal complaint, and contact the state Attorney General and file a complaint, and contact the US Attorney and file a complaint. Seek criminal prosecution and get all three of the law enforcement entities involved so they can investigate, the potential that many many others may have been harmed is very real. This is part of your responsibility as a citizen.

People make light of all this propensity to SUE under FDCPA and FCRA but that is exactly what congress intended, they setup a private right of action to make ALL citizens private attorney's general to assist in consumer rights law enforcement. it is not being petty or vindictive, you are standing up as a citizen to do your duty.

There are ALOT of cases on this exact subject and set of facts, research caselaw in your jurisdiction, see how others have handled this in court, and use those cases as a template for how you should proceed.

Happy hunting.

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My question here is how did they get your name, address, DOB, and SSN to do a pull? Not being able to find paperwork and not having PP can be two different things.

There is more to this story than a car dealer pulling a random CR.

Plus, to get the $1000, you will have to prove that they KNOWINGLY pulled your CR without permission.

OK Dive, now you're confusing me. You are the one that has posted on here several times about this being a strict liability statute, correct?

Also, I had this exact same situation a few weeks ago. The company that pulled my report did not have my ss# or anything else. They had my name and address which they received from another site selling them possible leads. I called them and confronted them with the whole deal and they DID remove the inquiry from my report. I had been browsing online regarding various vehicles and I never signed up for anything allowing anyone to pull my credit. I am very careful about these little disclaimers that are everywhere and I read the fine print. This may have been what happened to the OP.

BUT, back to my confusion. I have been under the impression that since this was a strict liability statute that they COULD be sued if I was so inclined. I am not inclined to do anything of the sort because I just plain have too much going on at this time in my life and my main objective was to get them off of my report, which has happened.

Would someone please clarify this whole deal for me as I thought I knew what was going on, but you guys have now confused me.

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OK that is different than them saying "Yes we pulled it and yes we know we didn't have permission". It sounds like you received a form letter from them just saying "hey, we cant find you in our system".

You can't see a judge not giving you $1000? WHY? What damages have you incurred? Score took a dive because of one inquiry? Doubtful. Did someone deny you credit because of one inqury on one report? Did you go there and look at cars or over the internet - they got your info some how? If not, did you file a fraud alert?

Lyssarene, MY score DID take a 6 point dive because of 1 inquiry. Just an FYI.

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The FDCPA is strict liability, not the FCRA. The FCRA has always been willful versus negligent.

Read the relevant portion of the FCRA:

§ 616. Civil liability for willful noncompliance [15 U.S.C. § 1681n]

(a) In general. Any person who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any consumer is liable to that consumer in an amount equal to the sum of

(1)

(A) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000; or

(B) in the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or $1,000, whichever is greater;

(2) such amount of punitive damages as the court may allow; and

(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney's fees as determined by the court.

(B) Civil liability for knowing noncompliance. Any person who obtains a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose shall be liable to the consumer reporting agency for actual damages sustained by the consumer reporting agency or $1,000, whichever is greater.

© Attorney's fees. Upon a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this section was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion, or other paper.

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Ahhhhh, thank you for the clarification!

And back to the OP's question, IF they did the same thing to him that they did to me, he WOULD have grounds to sue, correct??

I actually even received an email from them telling me where they got my info etc.

This is what my email said: "Apparently your information was sold to us in a car financing lead on the following date, we cannot determine what site it is from." And they gave several ISP addresses.

I would ASSume that buying and selling LEADS is nonpermissable purposeas a lead is not an application. Correct?

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I believe that is correct Nascar. This isn't actualy a rare incident, and there is in most states numerous caselaw on this very set of facts. Most of which likely are found in favor of the consumer or are settled for $$.

The key matter is a(1)(B) and a(2):

(B) in the case of liability of a natural person for obtaining a consumer report under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose, actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or $1,000, whichever is greater;

(2) such amount of punitive damages as the court may allow;

By the principle of "agency" the dealership is on the hook and a party to the violation. it was the dealerships computer and account used for the violation. So they must turn in WHO did it (the natural person) and they will IN COURT be held liable along with the individual.

There is simply no other conclusion a logicval person (aka a Judge) can draw other than the pull was made "knowingly without a permissible purpose" and this really is a slamdunk if the OP wants to pursue it. If it turns out to be part of a ID theft operation, then the "false pretenses" is just as clear and crystalizes the claim.

This is never EVER a a case of a pair of equally plausible and innocent parties with a difference of opinion. A professional obtained a credit report, and did not have permissible purpose for doing so. As such, the professional is by definition on the hook for more than a passing obligation to follow the law TO THE LETTER. Just as a lawyer in court vs a ProSe will always have a higher expectation of conduct and professionalism than the ProSe.... he is after all a professional. It's no different, the professional is from the start operating under a different standard of conduct than Joe Blow off the street. The scales of justice are already tilted toward the consumer in this, before they even walk in the door.

So fire away OP, you have been violated and will be able to successfully seek recompense for this in court.

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There is simply no other conclusion a logicval person (aka a Judge) can draw other than the pull was made "knowingly without a permissible purpose" and this really is a slamdunk if the OP wants to pursue it.
So fire away OP, you have been violated and will be able to successfully seek recompense for this in court.

Slam dunk? Hardly. Poor advice, if you ask me.

Also note what the law says:

(B) Civil liability for knowing noncompliance. Any person who obtains a consumer report from a consumer reporting agency under false pretenses or knowingly without a permissible purpose shall be liable to the consumer reporting agency for actual damages sustained by the consumer reporting agency or $1,000, whichever is greater.

Liable to the CRA, not to the consumer.

Here is some case law for ya:

The statute, of course, prohibits obtaining consumer information under false pretenses, not obtaining it for an improper purpose. United States v. Valenzeno, 123 F.3d 365, 373 (6th Cir. 1997)

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The consumer section is like this:

any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000

So even if you win, the judge may give you $100. Or he may rule that you had no damages, and you get nothing.

More case law:

Plaintiff Sally asserts that Experian violated 15 U.S.C. § 1681(B) by issuing her credit report to Victoria's Secret for other than permissible purposes. Plaintiff argues that she never gave written consent to Victoria's Secret to obtain her credit report, and thus Experian released her credit report for impermissible purposes.

Section 1681b(a)(3)(A) provides in pertinent part:

Any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances and no other:

(3) to a person which it has reason to believe …

(A) intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer; …

15 U.S.C. § 1681b(a)(3)(A)

Moreover, the FCRA authorizes consumer reports to be furnished to a third party without the consumer's authorization if the transaction consists of a firm offer of credit. 15 U.S.C. § 1681b©(1)(B)(i). Thus, Experian's potential liability has no relationship to whether Victoria's Secret fraudulently extended credit to plaintiff, but rather, hinges on whether Experian had reason to believe that Victoria's Secret intended to use the information in connection with a firm offer of credit. In the present case, the allegations reflect that Experian released Plaintiff Sally's credit history to Victoria's Secret precisely because Experian had reason to believe Victoria's Secret would use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving a firm offer of credit. Moreover, Victoria's Secret did in fact extend credit to Plaintiff on the day in question, although allegedly not at Plaintiff's request. Thus, Plaintiff cannot state a claim that Experian released her credit report to Victoria's Secret for impermissible purposes. Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim that Experian violated § 1681(B) of the FCRA is dismissed.

Kennedy v. Victoria's Secret Stores, Inc., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3261 (D. La. 2004)
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