Want to sue Experian in small claims court?

Your Guide to Sue Experian in Small Claims Court

Your Experian Contract probably says you can’t sue Experian in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause. It can be complicated and time consuming, but suing Experian in small claims court usually gets you what you want.

1

Do you qualify to sue Experian in small claims court?

Just because you are ready to sue Experian in small claims court doesn’t mean your case qualifies. Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims. There are two things you need to pay attention to:

  1. The amount of money: Every small claims court sets a maximum dollar size for the claim you can bring. In most states it’s either $5000 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500 (in states like Kentucky and Rhode Island). You can find a list of all 50 states’ monetary limits here.
  2. The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can seek in a traditional lawsuit – monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (any non-monetary request) but in most small claims courts can only grant monetary awards which means you can only ask for money.

If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.

2

Send a demand letter

It’s always good to ask nicely, and that’s precisely what most small claims courts think too. They require that you ask the person you’re suing (the “defendant”) to fix your problem voluntarily before you file your claim. So if you want to sue Experian in small claims court, you need to send them a demand letter first.

This doesn’t have to be a big, complicated letter, just a straightforward (and short) one telling Experian who you are (your name, address, phone number and account number), what the problem is, and what you want from them. It is just important that you do it at all, otherwise you can’t move on to the next step (legally).

When you’re done writing, you need to mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail or some other service that allows you to confirm delivery, to their legal address:

EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.
CORPORATION SERVICE COMPANY
251 LITTLE FALLS DRIVE
WILMINGTON, DE 19808

If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.

3

Fill out court forms.

In order to sue Experian in small claims court, you’re going to need to fill out some paper work. That paperwork requirement varies based on location (state and sometimes county) but you can find the documents you need on your state court website.

Make sure you fill out enough forms too because most states that require you to file forms by mail or in-person with 3 or 4 copies. If you don’t enough, you won’t be filing your claim today.

4

File the forms with your court.

When you’re done filling out the court forms, it’s time to give those forms to the court which is called “filing” because that court puts it on file. This is a highly specific process and varies by court.

Many courts will require you to physically come to the courthouse during specific hours and days to hand-deliver the forms to the court’s clerk. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online, but be prepared to drive to your court house in person.

Once there, you will need to pay a small courts fee before you can sue Experian. The amount should be on your state court website in the same place as the forms you had to file.

When you file your forms, the court clerk will provide you with a stamped copy of the forms and a court date. Keep it safe and bring it with you on the court date.

5

“Serve” your forms to Experian.

Just as you asked them nicely with the demand letter to fix it, now you are telling them nicely that you are suing them because they didn’t fix it it.

This is a called “serving” Experian. To do this, you need to deliver a copy of your filed papers to Experian.

Look at your court’s website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to Experian, or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. Each rule must be followed in order to sue Experian and not have your case thrown own. Even neglecting a single rule can result in the courts dropping your case and you walking home with nothing.

6

Show up for court.

Remember that court date you were given? Now it’s time to go.

Bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up your case against Experian.

Sometimes, Experian will not show up to oppose you. If that happens, take advantage of the situation to focus on your side of the story.

Ready to sue Experian in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…

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