A proposed class action alleges Genuine Data Services, LLC has routinely failed to ensure that the information it sells on consumers is as accurate as possible and able to be reported under federal law.
The 15-page Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuit alleges Genuine Data Services has repeatedly violated the law by way of its issuance of consumer reports to “resellers” such as non-party RealPage, who, under the Leasing Desk moniker, sells consumer reports to landlords for tenant screening purposes.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was denied a housing opportunity after Genuine Data Services furnished to the potential landlord a report that included a decades-old traffic violation that was not permitted to be reported under the FCRA, a federal statute that prohibits the reporting of arrest and other law enforcement records that predate the report by more than seven years, unless those records pertain to a conviction.
“Because traffic infractions are not criminal convictions, they cannot be reported more than seven years after the fact,” the complaint reads.
Per the lawsuit, the plaintiff applied to rent an apartment at an Alexandria, Virginia complex in December 2019, and was required to undergo a background check as part of the application process. When non-party Leasing Desk received the apartment complex’s request for the plaintiff’s report, it also requested criminal-record details from Genuine Data Services, the case says.
The lawsuit claims the consumer report provided to the landlord by Leasing Desk and furnished by Genuine Data Services included a traffic record from July 2000, almost 20 years prior to the report’s creation. The suit stresses that a large number of traffic infractions, including in Virginia, are non-criminal, meaning they are punishable only by a fine with no possibility of immediate incarceration.
Genuine Data Services violated the FCRA by reporting the nearly 20-year-old traffic infraction and led the plaintiff to lose out on housing in the process, the lawsuit alleges, arguing that reasonable procedures would have prevented the forgoing from taking place.
“Indeed, discovery will confirm that Defendant has no process in place to determine whether traffic violations are criminal such that a conviction can be rendered,” the case alleges. “Defendant simply obtains the records as they are from its third-party data vendor and inserts them into reports without substantive review or consideration as to whether they fall outside any of the permissions in [the FCRA] for reporting of older records.”
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