"Businesses and individuals as far back as 100 years ago were experiencing the same kind of financial hurt we feel today when a good credit reputation turns bad," says Finder. "And people back then where just as angry and frustrated as we are when someone harms our credit--either on purpose out of spite, by errors or by negligence."
In fact, the first recorded case involving credit reputation damage occurred 100 years ago in 1912 (Simonoff v. Jas H. Goodman & Co. Bank, 18 Cal.App.5). Aaron Simonoff was a women's clothing manufacturer who banked with Jas H. Goodman & Co. Bank in Napa, California. The bank incorrectly told Simonoff's customers that his checks were no good. Simonoff sued the bank for $75,000 arguing that because of the bank's actions, he had suffered great injury to his name, his standing as a reputable merchant was lost and his credit destroyed. The court agreed, stating, "The dishonor of a trader's check without right is a grievous wrong, since the drawer's credit suffers, and a single wrongful refusal to honor his check might work his ruin as a business man."
"The court also said that an individual or business that negligently or purposefully ruins someone's credit is financially responsible for the damage that occurs now and in the future," says Finder. "The law today is the same as it was then."
People ruining other people's good credit, whether intentional or not, goes back even farther in time--since people first started exchanging goods and services with each other. "Whether bartering, trading, buying or selling, the importance of honoring financial obligations and its impact on people's reputation is part of the human experience,"
Credit reputation damage today has an even more far-reaching effect. "When credit is damaged, it can result in higher insurance premiums, higher credit card, mortgage and lease rates, lower or cancelled credit limits and business lines of credit, increased banking fees and even denial of employment. The monetary impact can be significant and longlasting,"
Finder suggests that businesses and individuals check their credit through the three credit reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Experion and Equifax) at least once a year. "If your credit has been damaged because of no fault of your own and you are suffering financial hardship as a result, seek legal advice," says Finder. "Credit reputation damage is a compensable and measurable damage that can be presented in court."
For more information, contact Finder at Georg Finder at www.creditdamageexpert.com, 714-441-0900 or on LinkedIn.