AUSTIN (CN) – A woman says that when she decided not to buy a car from South Point Cadillac-Pontiac, it “shot-gunned” her credit report, sending it to two dozen lenders, to drive her credit rating down so low that other dealers would refuse to finance her and she would have to buy a car from them.
She claims another auto dealer told her what South Point had done, and that South Point admitted it.
Elizabeth Garcia demands punitive damages for fraud, misrepresentation, defamation and credit violations.
She says South Point slandered her credit when she went there to comparison shop after visiting another dealer. When South Point’s prices were too high, she says, she returned to the original dealer.
“The original dealership reviewed plaintiff’s credit information again. Plaintiff was informed that her credit score had suddenly dropped sharply because of actions taken by South Point. In the space of just four hours, South Point had sent plaintiff’s credit application to nearly two dozen different financial institutions, sometimes more than once, plaintiff was told by the original dealership.
“Plaintiff was informed that this was a practice performed by some dealers known as ‘shot gunning.’ Plaintiff was told that some dealerships make these repeated pulls not for the purpose of actually arranging financing but rather for the express purpose of driving down a consumer’s credit score so that the consumer is unable to obtain financing for the purchase of a vehicle from any other dealership, and would be pressured into returning to the ‘shot gunning’ dealership to purchase the vehicle.
“Plaintiff went back to South Point to seek an explanation. South Point admitted that they had her credit report pulled some 25 times,” the complaint states. South Point further admitted that they pulled her credit report after she told them she did not want to do business with them”.
She says that because South Point slandered her credit, she needed a co-signer when she eventually bought a car. She also suffered emotional distress, humiliation and anguish.She is represented by Ahmad Keshavarz of Brooklyn, N.Y., in Austin Federal Court