A Towed Car Does Not Establish A Credit Relationship Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act

A towing company towed our client’s car from the public streets because the registration had expired. The towing company sold the car for nothing. Then it assigned its claim for the towing charge to a collection company, Pacific Creditors. Pacific Creditors pulled our client, Maria Pinto’s credit report. Apparently it was trying to determine if she had enough assets to satisfy a judgment. Assured by her credit report that she was sufficiently well-off, Pacific Creditors then began to telephone Ms. Pintos repeatedly. Its agents told her that if she did not pay the towing charge, it would ruin her good...

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Statute of Limitations Defense to Debt Collection? Not So Fast

In May 2006 a debt collector sued an Oregon consumer–in Oregon–for a credit card debt. The consumer had made her last payment in November 2001 before she defaulted. The credit card agreement said that New Hampshire law would apply to the agreement. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for an action on a credit card is three years. So the consumer has a statute of limitations defense to the 2006 lawsuit, right? Wrong, according to today’s opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Avery v. First Resolution Management Corp. New Hampshire law also provides that the statute...

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When Can a Creditor Pull a Consumer’s Credit Report? The Ninth Circuit Ignites a Controversy

Last month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an important consumer protection issue concerning when creditors trying to collect consumer debts can permissibly pull consumers’ credit reports. The Court held that creditors can only pull credit reports if the debt involves a “credit transaction,” in which the consumer directly participated and voluntarily sought credit. This was an important victory for our client, Maria Pintos. Her car was towed for a registration violation and sold, but the sale price didn’t cover the towing and impound charges. The towing company assigned the outstanding debt to a debt collector, which pulled her...

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