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LendingTree Faces Class Action Over Data Breach

Company alleges former employees helped steal customer data

June 3, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

LendingTree LLC, which recently disclosed that former employees helped a number of mortgage companies steal the personal information of loan prospects, is now facing a class-action lawsuit over the data breach.

LendingTree issued a letter to its customers on April 21 indicating that it had discovered former employees may have shared their confidential passwords with "a handful of mortgage lenders" between October 2006 and this year. The companies used customer data -- including names, contact information, social security numbers and other income and employment information -- to market their own loan programs directly.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company then filed a fraud lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against Chapman Capital Inc., Home Loan Consultants Inc., Newport Lending Corp., Sage Credit Co. and Southern California Marketing Corp. Individuals named in that lawsuit were Gavin Monger, Quentin Caruana, Steve Rosene, Leard Edward Brown, Gildardo Mariscal, Brian Rich, Jennifer Rosene and John Bucherine.

LendingTree also initiated litigation in North Carolina.

A class-action was subsequently filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, against LendingTree on behalf of customers who submitted loan request forms between January 2006 and May 2008, according to a case summary prepared by Sandra Vipond of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC -- a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that provides mortgage banking litigation analysis.

The lead generator is accused of failing to adequately protect their confidential information. It is also accused of taking too long to inform the customers of the breach.

The lead plaintiff in the action is Marvin Garcia.

As a result of the security breach, Garcia claims nearly a dozen lenders accessed his credit without his permission -- severely impacting his credit score in the process. As a result, the interest rates on his credit cards jumped.

Garcia v. LendingTree, LLC
Case No. 08-04551-JSR


Mortgage Leads Litigation
LendingTree filed a fraud lawsuit against several individuals and companies over stolen lead data.

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