A proposed class action alleges TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions (TURSS) has unlawfully used “overly broad criteria” in response to customer requests for screening reports.
The 13-page case alleges the defendant provided a potential landlord with a “grossly inaccurate report” that incorrectly stated that the plaintiff was listed on the National Sex Offender registry. TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions matched this criminal information to the plaintiff even though it knew the man had a different middle name and date of birth than the true offender, the complaint says.
According to the lawsuit, TransUnion’s inaccurate consumer reporting practices could have been easily prevented had the company required a first name, middle name, last name and date of birth match, a common procedure adopted by reporting agencies. The lawsuit charges that TransUnion, by “systematically allowing criminal records to be attributed to consumers who had different middle names and/or date of births [sic] than the registered sex offender,” has failed to maintain reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the consumer information it shares with third parties.
Per the suit, TransUnion has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a law meant to safeguard consumers’ right to fairness, impartiality and respect with regard to their private information. The case stresses, however, that the FCRA “covers more than just credit reporting” in that it regulates all consumer reports, including tenant screening reports.
The plaintiff, who served 18 years in the Marine Corps, says he applied to rent an apartment in August 2020 and, as part of the application process, was required to undergo a background check for which he provided his full name, social security number and date of birth. The report the potential landlord received from the defendant was “grossly inaccurate,” the suit says, in that it stated the plaintiff was listed on the National Sex Offender Registry as a registered sex offender in Virginia.
“This entry does not belong to the Plaintiff,” the lawsuit says. “Plaintiff is not a registered sex offender in any jurisdiction, nor had he ever been charged with a crime on TURSS’s report.”
The lawsuit says the defendant “knew or should have known” that the inaccurate background report information did not belong to the plaintiff because it did not match the middle name and birth date the man provided the potential landlord who requested the report.
“TURSS has been sued many times for its failure to use reasonable procedures to assure that the rental-purposed consumer reports it sells are maximally accurate,” the lawsuit goes on to say. “TURSS knows that its process for obtaining and accurately reporting, updating, and investigating criminal public records is so shoddy that it leads to material inaccuracies. TURSS’s parent company, TransUnion, has been admonished by at least one federal court that it doesn’t comply with the FCRA.”
The case looks to represent U.S. residents who were the subject of a report sold by TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions in the last five years and through the date on which a class is certified and who were identified as listed on a sex offender registry despite the fact that the offender’s date of birth did not match the applicant’s date of birth.
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter here.