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First Citizens Bank of South Carolina Unauthorized Credit Accounts Class Action

Plaintiffs Michael Virzi and Natasha Brenchak wanted a mortgage approval. What they got, this complaint says, is that plus three false credit accounts they had specifically declined. Then they went through the difficulties of trying to get the accounts deleted. The complaint claims that the bank has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), among other things.. 

Two classes have been proposed for this action:

  • All persons for whom First Citizens Bank of South Carolina opened one or more unwanted or unauthorized accounts in South Carolina.
  • All persons for whom First Citizens Bank of South Carolina created applications, without authorization and who were not “approved” who (a) had their credit accessed in violation of the FCRA, and/or (b) did not receive an adverse action notice as required by ECOA.

When Varzi and Brenchak went to First Citizens, on April 24, 2018, all they wanted was to open a checking account and to get a mortgage pre-qualification letter. While they were there, the representative asked if they wanted an overdraft credit line, credit cards, or investment services. The couple refused all of these things. 

However, around April 30, 2018, the couple received letter in the mail that supposedly confirmed the opening of a line of credit of $5,000; a credit card for Varzi with a limit of $15,000; and a credit card for Brenchak with a limit of $15,000.

The couple went back to the bank, closed the three sham accounts and the checking account they had just opened, feeling that they could not trust the bank. According to the complaint, the person they spoke to said the sham credit line was “not fully opened yet” and that the cards would be canceled. Also, the person said that none of the four accounts would be reported on their credit reports and that they would be sent a letter acknowledging that the accounts were opened without their permission. 

The complaint says that the couple received a follow-up call from the branch manager, David Bernier, saying approximately the same things. 

However, the couple did not receive the promised letter. Roughly two months later, the couple received a call from the bank’s fraud investigator. She also promised that they would receive a letter on the matter, the complaint says, but the letter never came. 

In August, Varzi discovered that their credit report showed the accounts opened at First Citizens, and that instead of deleting the accounts, the bank had reported them as “closed by consumer.” Varzi called Bernier again, demanding proper action, the complaint says, then spoke to a senior vice president and asked again for a letter saying that the accounts were unauthorized. 

However, the letter that he finally received from the bank did not admit that the accounts were unauthorized. 

The complaint claims that the bank misused their financial information, breached their privacy, damaged their credit, and jeopardized their mortgage application with another bank. 

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

First Citizens Bank of South Carolina Unauthorized Credit Accounts Complaint

October 26, 2018

Plaintiffs Michael Virzi and Natasha Brenchak wanted a mortgage approval. What they got, this complaint says, is that plus three false credit accounts they had specifically declined. Then they went through the difficulties of trying to get the accounts deleted. The complaint claims that the bank has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), among other things.. 

first_citizens_bank_of_sc_sham_accounts.pdf

Case Event History

First Citizens Bank of South Carolina Unauthorized Credit Accounts Complaint

October 26, 2018

Plaintiffs Michael Virzi and Natasha Brenchak wanted a mortgage approval. What they got, this complaint says, is that plus three false credit accounts they had specifically declined. Then they went through the difficulties of trying to get the accounts deleted. The complaint claims that the bank has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), among other things.. 

first_citizens_bank_of_sc_sham_accounts.pdf
Tags: FCRA, Opening unauthorized accounts, Truth in Lending