A new federal lawsuit against the Experian credit reporting company alleges that the company added a cool $22 million in bogus debt to 53-year-old Joseph Cannavo's credit report.
As a result, the Brooklyn, New York psychiatrist can't buy a home, a car, or even get approved for a credit card with a limit of more than $1,000. That's the mind-boggling story in Tuesday's New York Post.
And it's scary stuff.
Cannavo's lawyer Kevin Mallon filed the Experian lawsuit because of the massive errors in the doctor's 52-page credit report that the company apparently won't fix.
The $22 million in debt is attributed to people with different Social Security numbers and different but similar names like José Cannahui and Joseph Canty.
Experian won't comment on the lawsuit. But Cannavo said that they also won't fix the report.
Because Experian won't comment on pending litigation, we're only getting one side of the story. However, I'm inclined to give the doctor some benefit of the doubt.
It isn't the only recent lawsuit against Experian caused by what victims are calling a careless credit report.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported on a Boise, Idaho man, Jose Luis Calderon, who is filing a lawsuit against Experian for much the same problem.
According to Calderon, Experian placed information about another man called Jose L. Martinez Caldero in Calderon's credit report in 2008. Despite years of struggle including the use of a credit repair agency, Calderon couldn't get Experian to completely remove information about Caldero's bad debt from his report.
As a result, Calderon too lost a chance to qualify to buy a home.
It really does make you wonder about the people who actually earned the $22 million or more in bad debt. Perhaps the new Experian lawsuits like Joseph Cannavo's will clarify how these folks are walking away while having their debt attributed to others with similar names.
[model with empty pockets photo by Catalin Petolea via Shutterstock]