CROSS LANES -- A Cross Lanes man is suing a bank after it allegedly refused to remove false charges from his credit report, an act he believes threatens his livelihood.
James Copley, who is representing himself, said he has been denied several loans for cars and home repairs, a mortgage, and an apartment at Dunbar Towers and is currently carrying a credit card interest rate of almost 30 percent, all because of a bad credit score.
Copley's story starts at a dispute in the state attorney general's office. Merrick Bank Corp. apparently refused to remove an outstanding balance of $1,073.55 and close his account with a zero balance and restore his credit, so Copley filed a lawsuit in Magistrate Court on May 12, 2005.
He won a default judgment plus $5,000 in damages, costs and 10 percent interest per year. He collected $5,050, but Merrick Bank Corp. refused to remove any negative references from his credit report.
Copley again filed a lawsuit in the Magistrate Court to try to force Merrick Bank Corp. to remove the references and balance from his credit report. The case was dismissed with prejudice on Aug. 28, 2006.
Copley tried to move the case to Circuit Court on Feb. 6, 2007, and the case was dismissed with prejudice the very next day.
In his lawsuit, filed on Feb. 21, 2008, Copley alleges that on February 28, 2007, Merrick damaged his credit even further by falsely listing that he owed $6,617.41 in late payments since November 2005.
In his "Grounds for Relief," he accuses banks of "perpetrating a great fraud across this country and this Plaintiff in their scams before the average citizen of this country. Banks are betting that the average citizen of this country will not have the time or resources to stop their onslaught against the American people."
Filed in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of West Virginia, Copley is demanding a "judgment from the Defendant pursuant to the foregoing, simple interest on actual damages if the Court finds that the award of such interest for such period is just in the circumstances."
He is also seeking damages for the loss of cars, home, home repairs, good health, and aggravation.