Sue for Unauthorized Credit Inquiry in Small Claims Court
Your credit report is extremely personal information, and your score could potentially affect what opportunities you have in the future. While it's normal for lenders to pull your credit report if they need to verify your information for a loan, each of these credit inquiries lowers your score. When someone pulls your credit report without your permission, it has a direct effect on your financial future. You deserve compensation for the resulting damage.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit for Unauthorized Credit Inquiry
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are guaranteed a level of privacy and autonomy with your credit. This law governs how the major credit bureaus compile and report your credit information, but also places strict limits on who can access your credit report.
When someone accesses your information without your express written permission, they are in violation of this law. Not only will this potentially decrease your score, but it will also reveal your private credit information. That’s information tied to your financial identity, and accessing it without your authorization is a serious violation of privacy.
Hard pulls on your credit report are noted in your credit report for up to two years after they occur. More inquiries will lower your credit score, as many lenders view this behavior as a possible indication that you are scrambling to maintain financial solvency. Cultivating a financial infrastructure that assures institutions you are a responsible borrower is a long process, and uncontrolled inquiries can render all your hard work and discipline pointless.
|Suing someone who pulled your credit||If someone pulled your report from a credit agency with fraudulent information or by circumventing normal safeguards that would prevent them from obtaining it without your permission, they've violated your privacy and potentially done damage to your financial future. Too many of these can leave your credit score in shambles for years. However, you luckily have the right to defend your privacy in small claims court and seek damages from whoever illegally pulled your credit report.
It's not only lenders that often have reasons to access your credit report, as one man filed suit after he learned that his phone company performed a hard inquiry on his credit without his permission.
|Suing a Credit Bureau||
The three credit bureaus with major significance today are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These are private companies that specialize in the collection, analysis, and compilation of consumer data. This gives them a lot of power over millions of people's financial information, such as:
Private, for-profit companies having this much power doesn't give them free rein over your privacy, though. They are heavily regulated in what practices they must follow in the collection, compilation, and distribution of private information so that they can be trusted. If they violate this trust by being negligent or willfully sending your credit to an unauthorized party, you have a right to make a claim against the credit bureau.
While the major credit bureaus are large companies, that doesn't mean you can't sue them in small claims court. In 2017 after the Equifax data breach leaked 143 million Americans' information, thousands of people nationwide successfully sued Equifax in small claims court for being negligent in the handling of their data. This often resulted in the maximum allowable compensation award in their jurisdiction, as the potential damages of sensitive information being permanently available on the internet are potentially huge.
File a Lawsuit for Unauthorized Credit Inquiry by Yourself
Small claims court is meant to be accessible to every citizen. Filing a lawsuit in small claims court takes a bit of work and a little learning, but you can do it on your own. You aren't required to have legal representation in small claims, but that doesn't mean someone will walk you through the process.
Many people succeed in small claims suits for unauthorized credit access by themselves. If your case has merit, you'll be pretty likely to succeed in small claims court if you can accomplish the following:
- Adhere to court etiquette and procedure
- Submit all required forms and information in a timely manner
- Answer all questions clearly and fully
- Provide clear evidence of the damage and that it was caused by the defendant
The Issues You May Encounter Filing a Lawsuit by Yourself
You may not need an attorney to represent you in small claims court necessarily, but that doesn't mean there isn't going to be some legal process involved. Making mistakes on forms or with filings could potentially cost you your case. If your case is tossed out due to misunderstanding the filing process, the court isn't likely to take "I didn't know" as an acceptable excuse.
How to Sue for an Unauthorized Credit Inquiry With DoNotPay
If you want to take on your small claims lawsuit by yourself, DoNotPay is the perfect solution to avoid legal fees draining your potential compensation while also making sure that your filing is done right. Why pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an attorney to fill out a few forms when you can leverage our powerful AI software to accurately complete your claim. It's easy to use-- just follow these steps:
- Sign up to DoNotPay and select the Sue Now product
- Enter how much you are owed
- Select whether you need a demand letter or court filing forms
- Describe the reason for the lawsuit and submit any applicable details that may make the situation clearer, including photo proof
That's all there is to it! DoNotPay will then generate your form or demand letter right away. We can even go ahead and mail that demand letter to the party you're suing if you want.
DoNotPay is a great solution for any small claims needs that you may have, including:
- Suing a utility or service provider, like Verizon or Comcast
- Suing a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft
- Suing a transportation company, like an airline or Amtrak
- Suing an insurance company