A proposed class action alleges Capital One Services, LLC misled customers by offering financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic without disclosing that missed payments would negatively impact their credit.
The 11-page lawsuit claims that although Capital One assured customers facing financial difficulties amid the COVID-19 crisis that the bank was “here to help” and allowed the plaintiff and others to skip payments on their accounts, the defendant failed to warn them that the missed payments would be reported to credit bureaus.
“Defendant, in the midst of a global crisis, reached out to its customers in a misleading and deceptive manner, purporting to offer financial assistance, but failed to clearly communicate the ramifications of accepting that assistance,” the complaint scathes.
The plaintiff says he received on March 12, 2020 an email from Capital One with the subject line, “COVID-19: A message to our customers.” Within the email, Capital One reportedly acknowledged that some customers may “find themselves facing financial difficulties” amid the pandemic and stated the following:
“Capital One is here to help and we encourage customers who may be impacted to reach out to discuss how we might be of assistance.”
In response, the plaintiff contacted Capital One to seek financial help with his accounts, the suit says. Per the complaint, the plaintiff was led to believe through his communications with the defendant that he did not have to make any payments on his accounts while he was experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, Capital One sent the plaintiff an electronic correspondence on June 3 in which the defendant noted that his minimum payment due on June 22 was reduced to $0 and that he would not be charged a late fee for not making a payment by that date, the case relays.
The plaintiff says he discovered in July, however, that his credit report contained adverse information regarding his Capital One account—namely that the defendant had reported at least four missed payments.
After the plaintiff contacted Capital One to dispute the adverse reporting, the defendant failed to properly investigate the dispute and continued to report the negative information on his account, the suit alleges. It was only after the plaintiff sent the bank “yet another letter” in September did Capital One respond by stating via letter that “We have confirmed that the late payments we are reporting for April 2020, May 2020, June 2020, and July 2020 are accurate,” and that it would not change how the information was reported to the credit bureaus, according to the case.
The plaintiff argues that he and other customers were given incomplete information, “which ultimately led to adverse consequences on their credit reports and lower credit scores,” regarding the supposed assistance being offered by Capital One in the midst of the pandemic.
The lawsuit alleges violations of both federal and California credit reporting and debt collection laws.
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