JP Morgan Violated the FCRA by Pulling Credit Reports for Litigation

There are only a limited number of circumstances under which a credit pull (or inquiry) can be conducted under the FCRA.  Despite this fact, unfortunately, businesses conduct unauthorized credit inquiries thereby accessing consumer credit reports in violation of the law.  This is what is alleged to have occurred by the plaintiff John Pinson. Pinson v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, No. 16-17107 (11th Cir. Nov. 12, 2019).

Mr. Pinson filed a lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase Bank (“JP Morgan”) for having inaccurately reported information on his credit report and for accessing his credit report without a permissible purpose under the FCRA.   The district court dismissed his complaint, but the 11th Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal of Mr. Pinson’s case in part.  The 11th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Mr. Pinson’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) claim relating to the inaccurately reported credit information but reversed the dismissal of Mr. Pinson’s FCRA claims.  The 11th Circuit found, among other things, that JP Morgan having allegedly accessed Mr. Pinson’s credit report through approximately 20 different inquiries – for litigation purposes (as alleged by Mr. Pinson) – would not be one of the permissible purposes to access a consumer’s credit report.  Thus, as a matter of law, would constitute a violation of the FCRA.  Inherent in its decision is the 11th Circuit’s recognition of the important consumer privacy rights protected by the FCRA.

If you believe inaccurate information is listed on your credit report or you did not provide consent for your consumer credit report to be accessed through a credit inquiry, it is important to seek the guidance of a skilled FCRA and Consumer Protection Attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys, contact The Kim Law Firm, LLC today by calling 855-996-6342.