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American Express No Reason to Obtain Credit Reports FCRA Class Action

This class action brings suit against American Express for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It alleges that Amex procures credit reports for people whose debts were discharged in bankruptcy, even though it is no longer entitled to obtain such reports. It also suggests that Amex tries to collect the debts that were discharged.

Two classes have been defined for this action.

  • Class A is all natural persons (1) whose consumer reports were obtained by Amex after November 1, 2016 (2) for account review purposes, (3) where Amex’s records show that the account relationship was terminated because the debt was discharged in bankruptcy, was closed with a zero balance, or was sold or transferred to another party.
  • Class B is all natural persons (1) whose consumer reports were obtained by Amex after November 1, 2020 (2) about a debt that Amex had been told was discharged in bankruptcy.

Plaintiff Jessica Cook filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 15, 2020. Her petition of bankruptcy included a list of her debts. One of them was a debt to Amex. Two days later, the complaint alleges, the Bankruptcy Noticing Center sent Amex a notice, telling it that Cook had filed for bankruptcy and that it was to stay its collection activities.

On July 24, 2020, her petition was granted and her debts, including her debt to Amex, were discharged. The complaint alleges that Amex was sent the Order of Discharge of Debtor on the same day.

Even so, the complaint claims, less than a year later, on June 15, 2021, Amex obtained Cook’s TransUnion credit report. A day later, it obtained her Experian credit report.

Credit card companies are able to request credit reports on consumers who are applying for credit, or on consumers who have active credit accounts with them. However, Amex did not have any of the permissible purposes for obtaining a credit report on Cook.

The complaint alleges, “Because there no longer exists any account to ‘review’ and the consumer is not applying for credit, the FCRA provides no permissible purpose for the creditor to receive a consumer report” from a credit reporting agency.

The complaint appears to interpret the obtaining of a credit report as evidence of an intention to try to collect the discharged debt. It claims, “Case law existing prior to and at the time of [Amex’s] actions described herein served to put [Amex] on notice that its actions in accessing a consumer’s credit report when the alleged debt was no longer collectible was in violation of the FCRA.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

American Express No Reason to Obtain Credit Reports FCRA Complaint

November 1, 2021

This class action brings suit against American Express for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It alleges that Amex procures credit reports for people whose debts were discharged in bankruptcy, even though it is no longer entitled to obtain such reports. It also suggests that Amex tries to collect the debts that were discharged.

American Express No Reason to Obtain Credit Reports FCRA Complaint

Case Event History

American Express No Reason to Obtain Credit Reports FCRA Complaint

November 1, 2021

This class action brings suit against American Express for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It alleges that Amex procures credit reports for people whose debts were discharged in bankruptcy, even though it is no longer entitled to obtain such reports. It also suggests that Amex tries to collect the debts that were discharged.

American Express No Reason to Obtain Credit Reports FCRA Complaint
Tags: Credit Reports, FCRA, No permissible purpose for request for report