United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE RANER C. COLLINS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT
before the Court is Defendant Trans Union, LLC's Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint and Memorandum in
Support. (Doc. 15.) Plaintiff has filed a Response (Doc. 21)
and Trans Union a Reply (Doc. 23). The Court finds that
Plaintiff has not demonstrated that Trans Union inaccurately
reported her credit information, and has failed to state a
claim for which relief may be granted. Because the factual
basis for Plaintiff's claims against Trans Union and
Equifax are identical, and the legal reasoning for dismissal
applies in both instances, the Court will grant the Motion to
Dismiss and dismiss the claims against both parties with
Defendants JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Wells Fargo Bank,
preliminary matter, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Voluntary
Dismissal with Prejudice as to JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.
(“Chase”) on October 9, 2018 (Doc. 26), and
another as to Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells
Fargo”) on October 18, 2018 (Doc. 28). These parties
will be dismissed with prejudice, each party to bear its own
attorneys' fees and costs. Therefore, the only remaining
parties are Trans Union and Equifax.
Motion to Dismiss Standard of Review
complaint must include a “short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2) (emphasis added).
“[A] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A
mere “recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. A claim is plausible
“when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
“Determining whether a complaint states a plausible
claim for relief [is] . . . a context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. When
considering a motion to dismiss, the court takes all
allegations in the complaint as true and views any inferences
in favor of the non-moving party. See Cervantes v. United
States, 330 F.3d 1186, 1187 (9th Cir. 2003).
Nonetheless, the Court does not accept as true unreasonable
inferences or conclusory legal allegations cast in the form
of factual allegations. W. Mining Council v. Watt,
643 F.2d 618, 624 (9th Cir. 1981); see Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679.
material facts in this case are undisputed. Ms. Reichardt
filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy on February 4, 2014. (Doc. 1
at 3, ¶9.) Her Bankruptcy Plan indicated that her Wells
Fargo and Chase mortgage trade line accounts
(“Accounts”) would be paid directly from Ms.
Reichardt to Wells Fargo and Chase (collectively
“Furnishers”), rather than through a bankruptcy
trustee. (Id. at ¶ 10; Ex. B, Doc. 15-1 at
Her Bankruptcy Plan was confirmed on January 24, 2015.
(Id. at ¶ 11.) An order of discharge was issued
on April 5, 2017. (Ex. C, Doc. 15-1 at 64-67.)
Ms. Reichardt subsequently received her Trans Union and
Equifax credit files; they stated her Accounts were closed
and failed to reflect the monthly payments she made after
bankruptcy. (Doc. 1 at 4, ¶ 12.) The report indicated
Ms. Reichardt made her last payment to Wells Fargo in May
2014; to Chase, in October 2013. (Id. at ¶ 13.)
Reichardt contacted Trans Union and Equifax (collectively
“CRAs”) around February 2018, informing them that
the Accounts were not part of her bankruptcy and so her
payments should be reported on her credit report.
(Id. at ¶¶ 17-18.) Ms. Reichardt then
received notification from the CRAs that her lines of credit
were reporting correctly (Id. at ¶¶ 21,
23) and that the CRAs refused to report her post-bankruptcy
payments. (Id. at ¶¶ 22, 24.)
Reichardt alleges that because the payments to the Furnishers
on the Accounts were being made personally and not as a part
of the Bankruptcy Plan, the CRAs were required to report the
payments made post-bankruptcy. (Id. at ¶
17-18.) Not doing so resulted in false and inaccurate
information on her credit report. (Id. at
¶¶ 14, 15.) Counts V through VIII of the Complaint
allege both negligent and willful violations of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) against the CRAs
for failing to conduct reasonable reinvestigation as required
under 15 U.S.C. § 1681i and for failing to accurately
report the post-bankruptcy payments as required under 15
U.S.C. § 1681e(b). (Id. at 11-16.)
Fair Credit Reporting Act
protect consumers from the transmission of incorrect personal
information and to prevent meritless injury to credit, the
FCRA mandates that a credit reporting agency must take
“reasonable measures to assure maximum possible
accuracy” of an individual's consumer report. 15
U.S.C. § 1681e(b); see also 15 U.S.C. §
1681i(a)(1)(A) (upon receipt of a reported inaccuracy, a
consumer agency shall “conduct a reasonable
reinvestigation to determine whether the disputed information
is inaccurate.”). While generally the determination of
whether a credit reporting agency's efforts were
reasonable is a factual issue for a jury, dismissal “is
appropriate when only one conclusion about the conduct's
reasonableness is possible.” Gorman v. Wolpoff
& Abramson, 584 F.3d 1147, 1157 (9th Cir. 2009).
state a prima facie claim of a violation of the FCRA, the
claimant must allege (1) that there is an inaccuracy in the
claimant's credit report; (2) that the claimant made the
credit reporting agency aware of the inaccuracy; and (3) the
credit reporting agency did not investigate the dispute or
did not follow the principles stated in 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1681(b)(1)(A)-(E). Garrity v. Capital One
Nat'l Ass'n, No. CV-16-04432-PHX-JJT, 2017 WL
3772985, at *2 (D. Ariz. May 23, 2017) (citing Corns v.
Residential Credit Sols., Inc., No.
2:15-cv-1233-GMN-VCF, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27864, at *4 (D.
Nev. Mar. 3, 2016)). To be inaccurate a statement must be
“patently incorrect” or materially
“misleading in such a way and ...