A proposed class action lawsuit out of Colorado details allegations that Machol & Johannes, LLC unlawfully filed “highly confidential and statutorily protected” consumer information as part of circuit court lawsuits aiming to collect debts. Citing potential Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) abuses, the lawsuit claims Machol & Johannes’s admission of consumers’ credit scores as evidence does not constitute a “permissible purpose” under the letter of the law.
The plaintiff's allegations can be traced back to a Discover card. According to the suit, Discover offered to provide the plaintiff with her TransUnion credit score each month and for the preceding 11 months on her monthly billing statement. The plaintiff believed that her credit scores would be for personal use only and would not be shared with any third party for any other purposes.
“At no time did [the plaintiff] provide Defendant Law Firm with or imply permission to obtain or use her TransUnion credit reports/ scores for any other purpose,” the case reads.
After the plaintiff was unable to repay the amount on her card, the case continues, the defendant reportedly filed a state court collection complaint in an attempt to recover the outstanding balance. The defendant allegedly included in its filing a monthly billing statement from the plaintiff that contained the woman’s credit score information, as well as her credit scores dating back 11 months. The lawsuit argues all this was an unnecessary and unlawful step by Machol & Johannes:
“Filing and publishing [the plaintiff’s] credit scores was not required, necessary, essential nor otherwise supportable since the credit scores did not relate to or ‘evidence the Account sought to be collected and provided no assistance in determining whether judgment should be entered against [the plaintiff].”