Man seeks $10 million over credit card typo

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 21, 2009, 1:00pm

GALVESTON � A Galveston County man is seeking $10 million from a credit card company and collection agency alleging a typographical error ruined his credit.

San Leon resident Dale A. Brown, who is representing himself in the case, accuses Georgia-based First Equity Card Corp. and New York-based LHR Inc. of benefiting from a transaction which involved an account he says is not his and does not exist, court papers say.

"The plaintiff sues the defendants jointly and severally for defamation, conspiracy, unfair credit collection practices, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, and everything else under the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Constitution, and federal and state statute and mandatory law," the suit states.

The suit was filed on Jan. 14 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the original petition, Brown had his First Equity credit card stolen in early 2007. He subsequently reported the theft to the company, and the company filed a declaration of fraudulent activity.

Brown reviewed the paperwork and noticed a mistake in the account number, it says. His account number and the one in question resembled each other except for the last two digits.

Before the plaintiff could address the inconsistency, the suit states, First Equity closed the erroneous account, stating that he "is not liable for any unauthorized transactions or any fraud related to finance charges and fees."

Further research indicated the wrong account never existed; it was actually Brown's real account with the charges on each juxtaposed.

The suit faults First Equity for bearing knowledge of the error as well as selling Brown's personal data to LHR.

"It appears that defendant First Equity knew this to be true and yet sold or assigned the account to defendant LHR," the complaint says.

LHR, in turn, is blamed for falsely reporting the plaintiff's credit delinquency to Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.

Galveston County 212th District Court Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0054

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