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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/patzer-you-wrote-if-you-read-the-complaint-in-26923342.aspx

Subject:  Re: Shotgunning a credit report Date:  8/22/2008  6:08 PM
Author:  joelcorley Number:  277538 of 308782

Patzer,

You wrote, If you read the complaint in full, some of the allegations are for libel and fraud, claiming the dealer made material false representation of the plaintiff to the credit reporting agency. If these allegations are true, it would mean that the dealer did something a bit more sophisticated than simply pull the credit report 25 times.

Actually, no. The FCRA regulates CRAs and to some extent the creditors that report to them. They do this specifically for the purpose of defining what must be done to prove liable or fraud by these parties against an individual. It also defines the damages (including statutory) that can be awarded for such claims.

Because a hard pull is reported by the CRAs to third parties, it is itself a report on the borrower. That makes it actionable as a liable claim. The assertion that dealer didn't have permissible purpose makes it either a mistake or actionable as fraud. I doubt 25 hard inquiries were a mistake and I doubt any jury would see it as such either.

Either way, the dealer appears well cornered. The question before the court: Which is it? Is it liable? Or is it fraud? The dealer cannot deny having made the inquiries, because he left a paper trail - a prerequisite for any liable case. He'll have a hard time defending the need for 25 copies of her credit report - after the customer left the dealership. If the dealer simply made a mistake and believes they pulled them for a permissible purpose, it's essentially liable. If they pulled them to wreck her credit, it's probably fraud. Which will a jury believe?

BTW, I read through that Complaint. It's very well constructed. If I lived in Austin, I might make a point of finding a way to meet Mr. Ahmed Keshavarz (or his paralegal). You never know when a good lawyer could come in handy.

I'd also recommend the dealer settle. They might have a chance of getting out of the lawsuit unscathed if they manage to find some loophole; but at the moment I'd be willing to bet against South Point - if that kind of thing were legal in Texas, of course.

Just as an aside, you should never ever give a dealer you SSN and permission to pull your credit report until AFTER you settle on a price. And you should already have your own financing just in case the dealer can't get you a good deal - if he doesn't it's just as likely because he wants too much in rebates back from the lender and not because of your credit. It sounds like Ms. Garcia made some mistakes of her own here - not that they should excuse the actions of the dealership.

- Joel
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