Privacy Rights and Credit Reporting Class Actions

Your personal information used to obtain credit, housing, and employment, is protected by law.

The exchange of personal data on digital platforms—from banking to background checks—is here to stay. Now more than ever, personal protected information and privacy must be protected. Just about every large company, retailer, insurer, employer, medical provider and school has access to consumers’ personal information.

Federal and state laws that require caretakers of personal private identifying information to properly safeguard that data—on and offline—were created to protect consumers. Those laws also address rights such as your ability to control and correct your personal information (Fair Credit Reporting Act), the right to be left alone (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), the right to control use of criminal history records, the right to obtain and review medical records, and the right to enforce confidentiality.

Working to enforce these consumer protection laws not only provides important remedies to victims of unfair and deceptive business practices, but also protects future consumers by eliminating careless practices.

We can help.

Jim Pietz represents clients in credit report disputes with credit reporting agencies, credit card companies, banks, and debt collectors throughout the United States, as well as in data breach cases.

Contact us if you believe your background check or credit report may have been unfairly obtained, irresponsibly administered, or if you have other concerns.

We help with:

Data Breaches & Failure to Keep Data Safe

Companies who record your personal information (lenders, employers, medical facilities, and companies that process credit card information) are required to protect that data.

The firm held a leadership position in a class action for victims of a credit reporting agency’s data breach of identification information for 15 million people, which resulted in a settlement valued at more than $170 million for class members. In re: Experian Data Breach Litigation, Case No. SACV 15-1592 AG (DFMx) (C.D. Cal.).

Erroneous Credit Reports & Background Checks

When companies fail to establish reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of credit reports and background checks, people may be denied housing, loans, and jobs based on inaccurate information. This is against the law, and there are legal remedies.

In Gillespie v. Equifax, 484 F.3d 938 (7th Cir. 2007), Jim Pietz argued before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals against the consumer reporting giant’s unclear and illegal practices. The case resulted in a class action settlement.

Abusive Debt Collection Practices

Deception and abuse are rampant in debt collection. Jim Pietz has successfully settled class actions that claimed that debt collectors were illegally adding fees to the amounts that they were attempting to collect.

In Vincent v. Wolpoff & Abramson, 08-423 (W.D. Pa.), inflated attorneys’ fees were illegally being added to the amount owed. In Meyer v. Northwest, GD-13-024884 (Allegheny County, Pa.), Jim exposed illegal repossession notice practices. Both cases resulted in class action settlements.

Consumer Protection Class Actions

Jim Pietz was appointed to represent consumers in these class actions brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

  • Reardon v. ClosetMaid, 08-1730 (W.D. Pa.) (Alleged that the defendant violated the FCRA in procuring consumer reports for employment purposes.)
  • Campos v. ChoicePoint,   237 F.R.D. 478 (N.D. Ga.)(Claimed that ChoicePoint, a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency, violated the FCRA by failing to disclose insurance claim, criminal background, and tenant screening information in a single consumer report when requested by a consumer.)

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Jim Pietz and Joe Kravec work hard to fight for people
with data breach, credit report, and employment background concerns.