Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. and Capital One, N.A. face a proposed class action in California over what one consumer alleges are “systematic,” unauthorized credit inquiries made in violation of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff opened a credit card account with Capital One in 2010, seven years before acquiring an auto loan from the bank via Capital One Auto Finance. The following year, in August 2018, the plaintiff filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy in San Diego, the suit says, with his 2017 auto loan and 2010 credit card account included in the man’s bankruptcy petition.
On November 14, 2018, the plaintiff’s debts were discharged pursuant to a court order electronically sent to Capital One, the case alleges, adding the plaintiff no longer had any accounts open with the defendants as of that month.
Nevertheless, Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. accessed the plaintiff’s Experian credit report on January 16, 2019 for what it claimed to be a permissible purpose, the lawsuit says. Days later, Capital One, N.A., doing business as Capital One Auto Finance, accessed the same Experian credit report for an apparent account review inquiry, the suit claims, adding that Capital One, N.A. conducted a subsequent account review of the plaintiff’s Equifax credit report the following May.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants’ inquiries into the plaintiff’s credit reports were impermissible and unauthorized given the man’s debts were discharged and his accounts with the companies closed in November 2018. From the complaint:
“Defendants’ inquiries and access to Plaintiff’s credit reports for ‘account reviews’ facilitated by Experian and Equifax were entirely unauthorized and without a permissible purpose. After the above referenced discharge order was entered, Plaintiff did not owe Defendants any debts, and Plaintiff’s accounts with Defendants were closed by operation of the bankruptcy discharge.
At no point after November 2018, did Plaintiff inquire about Defendants’ credit services.”
Further, the case alleges the defendant knew of the discharge of the plaintiff’s debts and that it was unlawful to access his credit reports, in particular given his bankruptcy declaration was noted with TransUnion and Equifax.
The complaint looks to cover all U.S. consumers, with a subclass comprised of California residents, whose credit reports were obtained by Capital One Bank (USA), N.A. and Capital One, N.A. as account review inquiries within the last five years from either TransUnion, Equifax or Experian, during which time the individual did not have an account with the defendants.
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