Credit Report Provider AppFolio Must Face Class Claims
In October 2016, Anthony Leo applied for an apartment. As part of the application process, the rental agency performed a background check and paid a company named AppFolio to produce a “consumer report” detailing Mr. Leo’s past. The report identified a recent eviction record attributed to Mr. Leo, but the record wasn’t actually his. The real defendant in the eviction action was named Tanya Lee. Unfortunately, because of this, the rental company refused to rent the apartment to Mr. Leo.
To correct this false reporting, Mr. Leo requested a copy of his file from AppFolio. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires companies like Appfolio to list where they got the information and the people who received a copy of the report. However, instead of following these guidelines, AppFolio chose not to disclose the recipients and it also claimed that the eviction record came from a court in South Carolina when, in fact, the incorrect information came from a private vendor. The company systematically failed to disclose information to consumers as required by law. He also claimed that AppFolio’s standard procedures are unreasonable because they result in incorrect information being included in consumer reports, such as the eviction record in his report.
Soon after the case was filed, AppFolio asked the Court to dismiss the class allegations. The Court refused. The company then asked the Court to dismiss claims that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act when it failed to disclose the name of the private vendor and to whom the inaccurate report was given. Again, the Court refused.
In refusing Appfolio’s requests, the Court found that the Fair Credit Reporting Act is meant to protect consumers and prevent the distribution of inaccurate information about them. By requiring companies to disclose where they got their information, consumers can contact the source of any errors so that they can be corrected.
Terrell Marshall Law Group will continue to fight for class certification in this case.