Victim of Identity Theft Alleges Citibank Tarnished Credit Report and Pursued by Debt Collectors
- August 6, 2013
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A San Francisco Bay Area resident is a victim of credit card identity theft. Someone stole his identity and made purchases on a Citibank, N.A., credit card without his permission and knowledge. It is alleged that the thief purchased airline tickets using the victim’s identity. He provided Citibank police reports and identity theft affidavits with respect to the theft, but Citibank has persisted in collection. The man, Adolfo Lomeli, has filed a lawsuit in San Jose, CA for credit damage and debt collection harassment against Citibank, N.A., and Client Services, Inc.
The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Lomeli learned that Citibank was reporting the Citibank account on his Transunion, Experian and Equifax credit reports. In May 2012, he wrote to each and informed them he is a victim of identity theft and requested that they remove the fraudulent account from his credit report. Transunion and Equifax removed the account, however, it is alleged that Citibank directed Experian not to remove the account.
He again disputed the Citibank account with Experian and Citibank in August and September 2012. Despite his efforts, his Experian credit report states he owes over $15,000.00 to Citibank. It is alleged that Citibank informed Experian to keep reporting the fraudulent account. It is alleged that he has suffered denial of credit because of the inaccurate information that appears on his Experian credit report. Additionally, it is alleged that the information negatively reflects upon his credit repayment history, his financial responsibility as a debtor and his credit worthiness.
In the lawsuit Mr. Lomeli seeks to have the court declare that he is a victim of identity theft and that the Citibank credit card account be canceled and removed from his credit report. In essence, Mr. Lomeli wants the $15,000.00 off his credit report. That amount is part of the $18 billion cost of identity theft in 2011 as reported by the California Department of Justice. See http://oag.ca.gov/idtheft.
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that throughout 2010 – 2012 Citibank and its collection agents harassed, annoyed and abused him in an attempt to collect on the fraudulent debt. It is alleged that he was told on repeated occasions that he would lose everything if he didn’t pay, that no one can remove the account and that he is obligated to pay. The defendants allegedly telephoned Mr. Lomeli on repeated occasions despite his insistence he is a victim of identity theft and he doesn’t owe the debt.
In July 2012, Mr. Lomeli allegedly sent Client Services, Inc., a cease and desist letter via certified mail return receipt requested with respect to its attempts to collect on the Citibank debt. However, it’s alleged that Client Services, Inc., ignored Mr. Lomeli’s wish to be left alone and continued to try to collect on the Citibank debt.
The lawsuit for credit report errors, credit damage, identity theft and collection harassment was filed in San Jose. Case #CV12-6570, Adolfo Martinez Lomeli v. Citibank, N.A., and Client Services, Inc., DOES 1-10, inclusive, U.S. District Court, for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit seeks relief under California’s Identity Theft Law, and the federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Law Office of Balám O. Letona, Inc., represents Mr. Lomeli. If something similar has happened to you please contact Mr. Letona at letonalaw at gmail dot com. Or, telephone him at (831) 421-0200.