ST. PETERSBURG — A Florida man recently filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, alleging a nationwide bank and credit-reporting agencies violated the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (FCCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
In the seven-count complaint, Bank of America, Experian Information Solutions and TransUnion LLC are listed as defendants.
The case stems from a bankruptcy Stanley Arnold filed. He hired Leavengood, Dauval, Boyle & Meyer law firm in St. Petersburg on Aug. 20, 2014, and in December 2014, he filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to the complaint.
On his bankruptcy petition, Arnold listed the bank as an unsecured creditor. In March 2015, Arnold received a discharged debt order in his bankruptcy case and that eliminated his personal obligation to that debt. In addition, the clerk of the bankruptcy court sent Bank of America a copy of the discharge order, court documents state.
On June 9, 2015, Arnold reopened his bankruptcy case, and on Jan. 21, 2016, the court entered an order granting his motion for his Chapter 7 discharge to remain in effect.
In October 2016, Arnold obtained a copy of his credit report, and his Experian and TransUnion reports listed the debt as closed and the status as charged-off.
According to the complaint, the bank reported the discharged debt as past due on Experian and TransUnion reports and did not show the bankruptcy.
Arnold’s attorneys sent Bank of America the first of its dispute letters on Oct. 10, 2016. Ten days later, TransUnion sent a response letter that did not include or address the discharged debt. In November, Experian sent a response letter.
Despite the plaintiff's efforts, Experian still reported the discharged debt of $1,113 as past due.
Lawyers on both sides traded letters a second time, and Experian indicated the debt was closed. TransUnion responded and listed the debt as charged off and closed with a 90-day delinquent balance. TransUnion also made no mention of the bankruptcy case, court records state.
Arnold then retained counsel.
Arnold claimed because of Bank of America's collection methods, he had to pay higher interest rates and incur less favorable terms on consumer loans. He also claimed he had to deal with stress and a feeling of hopelessness, believing he would be denied credit because of the incorrect reporting.
In his case against the defendants, Arnold is looking for a judgment declaring that Bank of America violated the FCCPA. He also seeks a judgment against Bank of America, Experian and TransUnion for maximum statutory damages for violations of the FCRA. Arnold also is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and reimbursement of attorneys' fees.