Class Action: 1681m: Anderson v. Capital One: Class Denied

David A. Szwak

Class Action: 1681m: Anderson v. Capital One: Class Denied

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:23 pm

Class Action Denied on Fair Credit Reporting Act Claim

The Andersons sued Capital One Bank for its alleged failure to comply with the Equal Credit Reporting Act by not disclosing the source of a credit report that resulted in their being denied for credit. However, the credit reporting agency did disclose to them that the reason for the denial was that the Social Security number under which they requested credit that of a dead person. The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin granted the bank’s motion for judgment, holding that the disclosure of the reason for the credit denial was sufficient and the applicants were not harmed by the bank’s failure to disclose the source of the information. The court found that the bank went further than the law required it to do when it told them the reason for the
denial. The court also denied the couple’s attempt to get class action certification, holding that since they ultimately did get the requested credit from the bank, they were not harmed by the bank’s failure to disclose the source of the credit report showing the Social Security number was that of a dead person. The court noted that “there is more than an element of unfairness in subjecting defendant to a suit by a class of 19,840 persons theoretically eligible for awards of $100 to $1,000. The potential damages for such a class are wholly out of proportion to the harm done to any of the class members or to all of them together.” The court estimated penalties could be up to $12,000,000, assuming each class member was awarded the maximum amount of statutory damages, plus punitive damages. (Anderson v. Capital One Bank, 2004 WL 2309000 (W.D. Wis. 10/5/04).)

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