Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Virginia

Credit Check

On December 9th, I signed up via the web for Verizon Long Distance service. I already had their local service, wireless service, and DSL service. On December 10th and 12th, Verizion checked my credit without my permission. When I called and spoke to reps from the company, I was told that they didn't know why my credit was checked nor did they know how to fix it. On January 9, 2003 I sent a letter to Verizon asking them to fix the problem, but I haven't heard from them. Can companies be sued if if's representatives check your credit without your permission?

Asked on 1/27/03, 4:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Credit Check

Sued for what and for what damages? And what is

there to fix? According to you they merely checked

your credit and nothing more.

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Answered on 1/27/03, 6:43 pm

Daniel Hawes Hawes & Associates

Re: Credit Check

Answer is no. The credit check may or may not have had anything to do with your transaction. Federal law ("Consumer Credit Protection Act") says that they can check your credit without your permission, and businesses often do. That's why you get unsolicited offers for credit in the mail that say, "pre-approved" or some such thing as that. They've already done a cursory check of your credit and decided to send you an offer.

Here's an excerpt:

U.S. Code 15 U.S.C. 1681b

...Subject to subsection (c) of this section, any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances and no other: ...

(3) To a person which it has reason to believe -

(A) intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer;...


You don't have a right to tell them they can't do it, but you can tell them that they can't tell anyone else what they discover (in writing), and, if an unfavorable determination is made as to any credit you've applied for, you have a right to demand (in writing, within a reasonable time) a free copy of whatever it was that they relied upon, as well as a free copy of the report from the credit bureau.

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Answered on 1/28/03, 7:32 am

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