Tenants Settle Case Against Company Selling Housing Court Data
LVT Number: 19493
Tenants brought a class action suit against a company that sold housing court information to landlords to aid in screening tenants. Tenants claimed that the company violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and New York law. They said the company didn't use reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the consumer reports sold. The court approved a settlement agreement by which the company paid $1.9 million into a fund for 35,000 tenants listed in the company's database from 2001 to 2006. Anyone showing that he was denied housing due to information in the company's reports would receive $100. Any money left over would go to charities or government agencies dealing with tenant screening issues. In addition, the company agreed to note in its reports if a case file had no decision or activity within one year, thus making the case subject to dismissal. The company's reports also would state that the filing of a case in housing court didn't mean that a tenant was evicted or found to owe rent, because the case may contain an error or lack merit. The court noted its concern that the company's reports would still be questionable and subject to abuse because housing court data could be inaccurate or incomplete.
White v. First American Registry, Inc.: NYLJ, 3/28/07, p. 23, col. 3 (S.D.N.Y.; Kaplan, J)