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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trans Union takes on Asset Acceptance

Trans Union has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (i.e. Chicago - TU's home town) against Asset Acceptance, a collection agency notorious among us FCRA and FDCPA lawyers for reporting incorrect information and being pretty ruthless, immoral and unethical in its collection tactics.  For instance, I have sue Asset Acceptance many times.  I can think of one client who I have represent in not one, not two but three lawsuits against Asset Acceptance due to its illegal collection attempts against him.

Apparently, Trans Union's lawsuit against Asset Acceptance arises from a federal class action filed against Asset Acceptance alone.  This case is styled "Johnny Wang v. Asset Acceptance, LLC," Case No. C09-04797 SI in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  According to Trans Union, Asset Acceptance's reporting of incorrect information to Trans Union to be included in the credit reports it generates led to Trans Union being added as a co-defendant with Asset Acceptance in the class action.  This opened Trans Union up to some major financial exposure.

According to Trans Union's Complaint, which I have seen a copy of, at some point Asset Acceptance informed Trans Union that it "had some serious problems" with a file on 5.7 million consumers that it had previously reported to Trans Union for inclusion on Trans Union's credit reports regarding those 5.7 million consumers.  In particular, Asset Acceptance suspected that disputed accounts it had reported to Trans Union did not include the changes made as a result of the disputes.

Since Trans Union had already incorporated these accounts into its credit history database, it informed Asset Acceptance that it was removing all of Asset Acceptance's accounts from it database and that Asset Acceptance needed to re-report to Trans Union (correctly this time) all of its accounts.  But instead of providing corrected information, Asset Acceptance again provided incorrect information to Trans Union.

Trans Union was then added as a Defendant to the Johnny Wang federal class action, prompting Trans Union to sue Asset Acceptance for indemnification pursuant to its contract with Asset Acceptance that required Asset Acceptance to report correct information to Trans Union.

I'm not sure why Trans Union is surprised that Asset Acceptance is reporting incorrect information.  Like most junk debt buyers, Asset Acceptance has little if any proof to back up the debts it claims it is owed by consumers.  Yet, these bottom feeding junk debt buyers routinely "verify" to Trans Union and the other credit bureaus that the debts they report are indeed owed, even though they have no proof to back it their so called "verification".  If Trans Union really wanted the credit reports it generates regarding consumers to be more accurate, it would bar Asset Acceptance and the other junk debt buyers from including their accounts on Trans Union credit reports until such time as these companies actually present proof of the debts they claimed they are owed.  Until then, Trans Union's credit reports will continue to be chock full of inaccuracies.

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