I was sued in magisterial court by a debt collector, i represented myself and won. I waited 30 days then I sent a letter asking the credit bureau and collection agency to remove the trade line from my credit report and the collection agency replied that they would keep reporting. I received a copy of my report from Experian stating there have been no recent reportings. upon further examination I see that the Attorney who represented them against me made an inquiry 1 month before lawsuit stating inquiry was for an auto loan-which was totally under false pretenses! are these violations of the FDCP? Should I contact an attorney?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You have a couple more steps. Your winning judgment may not be on the public record until it is transferred to the common pleas court in your county.
If the prothonotary's office is pro se friendly they may tell you what needs to be done if not you'll need a local lawyer to file the appropriate documents,
You need to speak to a lawyer specializing in FCRA/FDCPA violations.
It is not a violation to make an inquiry if it was about the debt in question owned by the junk debt buyer. Without seeing your report, I can't comment but I find it somewhat hard to believe an attorney would deliberately lie about this. Why bother? And even if it was a violation, inquiries do not count towards your credit score unless you were applying for credit.
About credit reports ... getting your report from only one credit bureau is a mistake. You need to check your reports from ALL the credit bureaus. Different bureaus may report things differently. If the matter is still being reported, you would send a copy of the dismissal/judgment in your favor to the credit bureau and ask them to remove the reporting of the debt. Send the request via certified mail return receipt requested. If the credit bureaus do not remove this account, then you write to the creditor who put this information on there and again include a copy of the judgment and ask them to remove. Then if they refuse it is a violation of the FCRA.
An attorney specializing in FCRA/FDCPA violations can guide you through this process. The problem is that neither the FCRA nor FDCPA is very generous in terms of damages to you (you can only recover $1000 maximum and even less under the PA Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act). So unless you applied for a loan and were denied credit or got the loan but a higher interest rate or applied for/lost a job which you would have had but for the existence of this information then you may not have any actual damages. Lawyers like to pursue these claims though because violations, if established, entitle the lawyer to recover the attorney's fees. So it would be in your best interest to get a lawyer.