Bank of America incorrectly did two hard pulls on same date; won't fix it

In April, I applied for and was approved for a Bank of America Premium Rewards card. On that date, Bank of America made not one, but two, identical hard inquiries to TransUnion. When I discovered the duplicate hard inquiry, I attempted to resolve with BoA. They responded in writing that the one inquiry was correct and the matter was closed. They did not acknowledge or address the excessive inquiry made on the same date.

In follow-up calls to BoA, they refused to acknowledge their error and would not discuss further. I offered to send them a screen shot of my actual credit report from TransUnion showing it (or they could have done a soft pull themselves) but they didn’t want to confuse their position on the matter with facts.

TransUnion confirmed that there were duplicate inquiries but said that inquiries are “statements of fact” and they could not do anything about it unless requested by BoA. Further, they said that there is no procedure or provision within the law to dispute inquiries.

I went on to file complaints through CFPB against BoA and TransUnion. TransUnion posted canned verbiage about what an inquiry was, not mentioning the duplicate, and closed the complaint. BoA said *their" records showed only one pull, and said the duplicate must be a TransUnion problem. I asked them to very simply give me a statement that said only one BoA inquiry on that date was valid, and if there was another one being reported, it should be removed. TransUnion had indicated that would be all they needed. But BoA refused to provide even that because, again they said, “there was only one inquiry made.”

It doesn’t appear to me that CFPB does much good … the bank/bureau has complete judgement on the validity of the complaint, and there is no appeal process.

Now you may say that hard pulls don’t matter for much in the FICO score, and that is true. But issuers of rewards card put heavy weight on AAoA and recent hard inquiries for credit cards beyond the FICO score. Also, you may understand that duplicate inquiries for the same type of credit within a time period count as one, but 1) that’s only true for mortgage/auto loans, and 2) previous point about rewards card’s looking separately at inquiries.

Not much of a question here other than ideas for escalating or fixing, but I don’t believe there is.

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Sounds like you already have what transunion wants, why not go back to them with BoA’s response to the CFPB complaint?

I tried that, yes. TransUnion said that they cannot take action without the specific words that the duplicate could be deleted. It wasn’t sufficient to say only that there should be just one, as that requires them to draw a conclusion that anything beyond one should be removed. In fairness, as ridiculous as this sounds, the TransUnion person I talked to (multiple times) seemed quite reasonable and explained that their hands were tied without an instruction of deletion from the creditor.

Sounds bizarre. There’s someone that started a thread a while ago on here about dealing with banks in arbitration. Maybe he/she could provide some guidance if you send a PM.

Have you considered a small claims court action? You would not need to win the case. You would just have to persuade the court itself you have been damaged so they would accept your action.

The moment B of A is forced to send their legal representation into court they will discover motivation to provide you the very reasonable relief you are seeking. It costs B of A a whole lot less to write the letter you need than to pay a lawyer a fortune to defend their indefensible error.

For others:

Average Age of Accounts (AAoA)

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A nice thought but I’d probably have to bring it in El Paso, Tx (the address they list when doing the inquiry), and damages might be hard to describe, especially since the impact on me is almost certainly limited to issuers of premium rewards cards that use TransUnion who look beyond my 82x FICO score and see I’ve sure been getting a lot of rewards cards in the last several years.

Thanks for explaining my acronym. I should have done so parenthetically the first time I used it.

Hmmm. First of all I most assuredly am not a lawyer. But I assume you would bring the action in the venue where you were injured.

I agree it could be a challenge convincing the court to accept your action. But a conversation with the clerk of courts costs nothing. If you’re a smooth talker it’s possible she or he might just offer you a path to success.

And remember, you do not have to win in court or even appear. You just have to force B of A to defend themselves. They would be nuts not to settle out of court regarding so obvious a screw up on their part.

As for the AAoA thing:

Thank you very much for that valuable mention. I learned a lot just educating myself on that concept. It was totally worth the minute or two it took to do the research.

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Were you actually damaged by the duplicate pull, or is this just for sport?

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I had a similar problem several years ago when Chase did four inquiries when I applied for a single card. They did one at each credit bureau plus an additional one at another (i.e. 4 inquiries, 2 at one bureau). I called them to try to get at least one removed. They refused. It wasn’t worth pursuing, and they have aged off the credit reports.

Last time I checked, an inquiry counts against the score for one year, although the record of an inquiry remains for two years,

I just had two hard inquiries done at Trans-Union. Because I’d recently paid down some balances, it dropped my score only 4 points. FYI, Alliant and Barclays used Trans-Union this time. Lake Michigan CU used Experian.

My concern here has nothing to do with my credit score. My FICO 8 is in the 820+ range already. No credit card issuer is going to deny me based on FICO score.

The concern is ability to obtain generous reward/bonus offers (which is sort of sport). Issuers of such cards often have a litmus test for average age of accounts, and number of credit card applications (approved or not) in recent year or two.

In that case, I’d say litigation is out. Your future relationship with B of A as a card abuser is worth much more than winning a suit to have the record corrected, then risking getting permanently banned. Although maybe the summons will get their attention and they’ll fix it and you’ll drop the suit.

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Totally agree. Making it harder for a churner to get credit card rewards probably doesn’t strike the reasonable ordinary person as much of a tragic atrocity as it would, say, people on Fragile Deal.

I really posted my saga as a data point dealing with a monster megabank. BoA literally looked at the screen shot of my actual TransUnion report and said the second inquiry wasn’t really there.

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I’m OK with your thinking so long as you realize there is no need actually to win any litigation . . . . . which would be unlikely to eventuate in my view.

But winning would NOT be the goal. Instead, the goal would be to inconvenience and prod B of A, thereby getting their attention at a sufficiently high level to where they would take the easy way out and write the damn letter to which you clearly are entitled.

B of A is one of the “big bank” bullies (think Wells Fargo). They don’t give a damn about having messed you up. Your issue probably, at this point, is being dealt with by some low-level B of A bureaucrat whose job it is to make you go away. You threaten court and the matter will be elevated, at B of A, to a person more likely to have a brain and a little common sense.

It’s not as if you’re being unreasonable. THEY are the ones being unreasonable!

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Well, again, B of A per se did not do that. It was some lower level functionary fearful of providing you documentation of his error or, these days, possibly even her error.

OK, so you do not see a way forward in court. Have you considered doing a bit of research to obtain the name of the person in charge of the B of A department, or section, or unit, or division doing this to you. If you write a good letter you could then contact that person and attempt to enlist their help in putting things right. Stipulated:

You might have to fib just a teensy bit as you explain your plight. Instead of illuminating how you actually employ your excellent (but now damaged) credit standing to your advantage, you might say you are head of a growing family whose wife has just given birth to your fourth child. This circumstance has resulted in need for a new home in order properly to house your expanding brood. Indeed, you and your wife have found the perfect home and were on the brink of applying for a mortgage when this unfortunate B of A error ensued. You desperately need remediation ASAP for the sake of yourselves, but most importantly for the good of your children.

Of course all that is pretty tortured and hyperbolic. You would dream up your own story, or not, as you see fit. Admitting you are into MS is probably not the best way to go. Instead, something B of A might worry you could take to the press would perhaps work best (“Big bank screws over young family with erroneous report to credit bureau”). Or whatever. The possibilities are nearly endless if you use your imagination.

Above all, have fun with it. You have nothing now and it costs you very little to swing for the fences. If you contact the person who heads the division harming you, be sure to send a copy of your letter to the president of B of A, just for good measure. You want the division head to worry the person in the big chair might be watching.

You might simply restate your case clearly in a direct message (if they still have those?) through boa website. It’s been several years but I have actually had BoA remove an inquiry.
They reallocated a credit line and assured me no hard pull (which they do for reallocations). A phone call in went no where. I then stated in the website message indicating the details (phone call specifically said no hard pull and I didn’t give permission to seek any new credit) and the inquiry disappeared a few weeks later.

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Reframe your complaint and submit a new one. You are just assuming BofA pulled your report twice for your credit card application. BofA has confirmed that in conjunction with your credit card application your credit was pulled once. Which means the second inquiry must be from some unknown apparently rogue source that had no permissible purpose, since it’s confirmed to have nothing to do with your application. Run with that, and escalate to a supervisor if (rather, when) you hit another brick wall.

To be fair, if BofA’s system only shows 1 inquiry being made, it could be pretty hard for them to remove the second one - that typically happens when they can see the inquiry and see that it was done errantly on their end. Which also means it could in fact be a data error on TU’s end - in which case small claims/arbitration action against them (and supported by BofA’s statements) could be made in good faith and with a pretty decent likelihood of being productive.

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TransUnion suggested that approach as well. But that would start with my filing a police report. And it also doesn’t move the responsibility for removing the report away from BoA.

On the contrary, it would be trivial for them to remove the duplicate. TransUnion indicated that all they need is a sentence in writing from BoA that said that if there was a second inquiry from BoA on the same date, it should be deleted. BoA refused to provide that sentence, essentially saying that wasn’t one of their canned responses, so they’d have no way to generate that letter.

No police report. What’s the crime? Who would you even file a police report with?

Also, don’t lie (or “fib”) to the bank.

That was in response to the suggestion to act like I had no idea where the second inquiry came from and pursue it as an attempt at credit theft. I would never consider doing that as I have no doubts where the second inquiry came from.

I absolutely agree about keeping honest. Playing the game by the rules.