Claim Under Massachusetts Credit Reporting Law Must Be Heard in State Court, Says Federal Judge
Which court – state or federal – should hear a consumer’s lawsuit brought against the credit reporting agency Trans Union under the Massachusetts credit reporting law? That is the question a federal judge recently answered, holding that the case must be heard in state court.
There are two laws applicable to credit reporting, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the state credit reporting act under Chapter 93 of the General Law.
Although most people file suit under the FCRA for credit reporting violations, the Massachusetts consumer in this case sued under the state statute. When he did this, the credit reporting agency that was sued, Trans Union, transferred the case to federal court. It did this because, it argued, the state law is similar to the federal law.
The federal judge rejected the transfer and held that the case must go back to state court. The attorney for Trans Union should have known this, said the judge, and called it “disturbing” that the attorney had not known better. The outcome of all of this is that although this credit reporting case now goes to Massachusetts Superior Court for a decision.
The lesson is that if you have a credit-reporting issue, you may be able to file suit in either state or federal court. There may be different factors weighing in favor or against whether to do so, such as the damages that are available and how friendly each court may be to your claims.
Credit reporting agencies maintain databases of consumers’ debt and credit information, including credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, and other accounts. The three main credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. There are also numerous other smaller credit reporting agencies.
The case is here: Kasparian v. Trans Union
If you have found inaccuracies in your credit report, contact Culik Law to see if we can help.