DirecTV’s Alleged Unauthorized Hard Credit Pulls With Adverse Effect on Credit Scores
On February 28, 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against DirecTV, LLC, which, along with the other named defendants, operates “the largest direct-to-home digital TV service in the United States providing cable and other pay television services to consumers.”
The class action lawsuit was filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act , the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act, and the California Unfair Competition Law for “routinely and systematically pulling hard credit reports on consumers without a permissible purpose and under false pretenses.” The other defendants named in the lawsuit are DirecTV Digital LLC, DirecTV Enterprises, LLC, DirecTV Group Holdings LLC, DirecTV Holdings LLC, The DirecTV Group, Inc., and DirecTV, Inc.
According to the complaint, the Plaintiff had no interaction, dealings or prior relationship with the DirecTV defendants, but discovered that they “conducted unauthorized credit transactions in the form of inquiries of Plaintiff’s credit history.” The DirecTV defendants “without permission, conducted hard credit pulls,” actions “which necessarily adversely affected [the] credit scores” of Plaintiff and the other class members.
Members of The DirecTV Proposed Class
The proposed class of affected individuals consists of all individuals who were subject to a hard credit inquiry by the DirecTV defendants and who did not authorize a hard credit inquiry with the DirecTV defendants at any time within five years prior to the filing of the class action complaint.
Credit Pulls: Hard Credit Pulls vs. Soft Credit Pulls
“Hard inquiries” or “hard pulls” are, according to the complaint, inquiries related to consumer-initiated transactions and are “visible to third parties who obtain a consumer credit report.” Every “hard pull can result in a credit score reduction of up to five points.” Further, “. . . it is common for creditors to use the number of hard pulls on a consumer’s credit report as a basis to deny any extension or continuation of credit.”
On the other hand, the complaint states that “[i]nquiries not related to transactions initiated by the consumer are known as “soft inquiries” or “soft pulls,” and “[s]oft pulls . . . are not visible to anyone other than the consumer, and do not affect the consumer’s credit score. Soft pulls include inquiries made when a consumer checks his or her own credit report, inquiries made by a business with which the consumer already does business, and inquiries made by credit card or insurance companies to make firm offers of credit when no transaction has been initiated by the consumer.” Importantly, “[s]oft pulls are not visible to other users of credit reports and do not affect consumers’ credit scores.”
Hard Pull Inquiries of the Plaintiff and Other Class Members’ Credit Reports & Relief Sought
Allegedly, the DirecTV defendants “made hard inquiries” of the Plaintiff and other proposed class members’ “credit reports not in connection with any firm offer of credit, and not initiated or authorized by the consumers.” Additionally, the DirecTV defendants, allegedly, made hard pull inquiries “without a permissible statutory purpose,” “without any prior interaction,” and without “even know[ing] about the hard pulls until viewing their own credit reports.”
Among other relief, the class action lawsuit against the DirecTV defendants seeks statutory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and injunctive relief requiring the DirecTV defendants to stop “their unlawful practices and ensure that consumer reporting agencies remove [the DirecTV] Defendants’ unauthorized credit inquiries from Plaintiff’s and the Proposed Class Members’ credit reports.”
Consumers: Do You Have Credit Report Errors?
Credit report errors can significantly damage your credit score. In addition, a poor credit score can result in such things as higher insurance premiums and interest rates; denial of credit or a personal or home mortgage loan, as well as a denial of housing or an employment opportunity. If you feel your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act have been violated, please contact Kehoe Law Firm, P.C., [email protected], or Michael Yarnoff, Esq., [email protected], (215) 792-6676, Ext. 804, to discuss your potential legal rights or claims.