Collections Company Named In KlearGear Lawsuit Dismissed After Reporting $3,500 Charge Was 'Erroneous'

from the perhaps-the-first-time-a-collections-agency-has-received-positive-attention dept

A little bit of good news has made its way out of the KlearGear debacle. (Quick recap: tech tchotchke store KlearGear screws up order, customer writes negative review, KlearGear bills her $3,500 for violating an extortionate "non-disparagement clause" [which wasn't even in force when it screwed up her order] and then sends that bill to collections, thus screwing up her credit record.)

Scott Michelman of Public Citizen, which is suing KlearGear on the customer's (Jen Palmer) behalf, reports that one of the defendants (Fidelity Information Corp.) has fixed its contribution to Jen Palmer's woes.

Our suit also named the debt collector Fidelity Information Corp., who by this point owned the debt. Now Fidelity has done an independent review of the case and reported to the credit agencies that the debt was erroneous. So the Palmers have a measure of relief – the KlearGear debt is off John’s credit report, finally, after 18 months. Today the Palmers voluntarily dismissed Fidelity from the lawsuit.
That's good news for the Palmers, whose credit was damaged enough by KlearGear's fraudulent tactics that it prevented them from getting a loan to purchase a new furnace when theirs broke, as well as hampering their efforts to buy a new home.

That just leaves KlearGear, which has yet to respond to the lawsuit Public Citizen filed more than two months ago. KlearGear's social media accounts remain shuttered and silent. The company, however, remains open for business, however, with whoever's behind it presumably revising future earning estimates.



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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 1:33am

    Oh please let them continue to ignore the lawsuit, likely in the hope that it'll just 'go away', I'm sure the judge would have quite the time handing out damages and fines should they refuse to show up to court.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:12am

    in the uk, the debt collection agency would have been sued for defamation and damages, since their erroneous record resulted in the refusal of a loan.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:37am

    Re:

    Unfortunately, they're immune to defamation charges in the US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 4:48am

    I suppose KlearGear will simply go bankrupt and continue under a new name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    John William Nelson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 5:21am

    Not immune to the FDCPA or FCRA

    Fidelity Information Corp is not immune from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Both give a consumer the right to sue and collect statutory damages as well as attorney's fees if successful.

    I hope they didn't let Fidelity Information Corp out easily. I hope they at least had to pay some basic fees and damages. I do not know the full facts, but my understanding is that Ms. Palmer did attempt to explain to the debt collectors that this debt was erroneous and they simply ignored her.

    Clearing up credit is one thing, but Fidelity would be required to do that anyway.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 5:34am

    Fidelity Information Corp needs to be held accountable , I hope the Palmers push back .

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re:

    Not to mention your credit score is still damaged long term from a mistake, even after it's corrected.

     

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    John William Nelson (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If the item is removed then your credit report will no longer show the history of the item and your credit score should change as if the item was no longer present. Depending on how the removal is reported, of course.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 8:31am

    Re:

    How do we know that KlearGear doesn't already operate under a variety of other names and websites? This is an internet business after all, and it's not uncommon for many of these fly-by-night mail-order firms to sock-puppet extensively, especially scam operators like KlearGear.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 10:45am

    The company, however, remains open for business, however, with whoever's behind it presumably revising future earning estimates.

    Tim, you're reduntantly repeating yourself!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    PRMan, Feb 26th, 2014 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re:

    First, isn't it libel? And second, is KlearGear immune to it? I wouldn't think so.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 5:53pm

    Fidelity is a company who buys up bad debt (I would guess).
    The debt was presented as being valid, and I am sure KlearGear signed an agreement stating as such.

    Perhaps having Fidelity fix the reporting, and not trying to screw them over is part of the greater plan for the Palmers. The debt collector is a victim of KlearGear's illegal practices as much as the Palmers are.

    Fidelity got screwed by KlearGear as well, and most likely will be working to obtain back any payments made to KlearGear to purchase these debts.
    Come on kids, you can't believe this is the ONLY time KlearGear sold these debts off - this is the one we heard about. I bet there is a pile of the debts out there on shaky ground just needing a push.

    I have a feeling there will be at least 1, if not more, debt collectors coming after KlearGear. Given the general hate for the debt collection industry, I hope they use every sleazy borderline illegal tactic to hound KlearGear.

    Couldn't happen to nicer people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Bergman (profile), Feb 26th, 2014 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Except that credit score is not the only way they track you -- and the fraudulent debt was only removed from the credit score system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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