Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A proposed class action lawsuit filed in a South Carolina district court claims a consumer reporting agency (CRA) “willfully” violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by selling old and outdated traffic citation information to third parties that included prospective landlords, according to a report from ClassAction.org.

Filed on March 25, 2022, the lawsuit claims the defendant CRA misreported traffic violations as criminal convictions in states where many such traffic infractions have been classified as non-criminal. The FCRA prohibits the reporting of non-criminal infractions that occurred more than seven years prior to the report.

The lawsuit states that the plaintiff in the case applied to rent an apartment in South Carolina in December 2019 and was required to undergo a background check as part of the application process. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiff’s rental application was denied as a result of the outdated traffic information in his credit report.

“Defendant simply obtains the records as they are from its third-party data vendor and inserts them into reports without substantive review or consideration as to whether they fall outside any of the permissions in [the FCRA] for reporting of older records,” the 16-page complaint claims about the actions of the CRA.

The lawsuit also alleges that the CRA has no process in place to remove outdated non-criminal convictions from the information reported about consumers. According to the complaint, the CRA “believes there is greater economic value in selling over-inclusive consumer reports than in producing accurate reports.”

The plaintiff seeks to represent anyone residing in a state that comprises the federal Fourth Judicial Circuit who was the subject of a report sold by the defendant within the past five years. The plaintiff initially filed a case against the CRA in Virginia that was dismissed after the judge found the court lacked jurisdiction.

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