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Radley v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 26, 2018

MARINA RADLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
EXPERIAN INFORMATION SOLUTIONS, INC.; EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC; AND ROUNDPOINT MORTGAGE COMPANY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Marina Radley (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corporation (“Defendant RoundPoint” or “RoundPoint”), as well as credit reporting agencies Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”) and Equifax Information Services, LLC (“Defendant Equifax” or “Equifax”) (collectively, “the CRAs”) for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“FCRA”) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act § 1692 et seq. [Docket Item 1, Compl., ¶ 1.]

         Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant RoundPoint violated the FCRA by failing to conduct reasonable investigations of the allegedly inaccurate information that Plaintiff disputed, and by willfully and negligently failing to comply with the requirements the FCRA imposes on furnishers pursuant to 15 U.S.C § 1681s-2(b). Plaintiff alleges Defendant RoundPoint is therefore liable under Sections 1681n and 1681o of the FCRA (Count Two, the only claim asserted against RoundPoint). Before the Court is RoundPoint's motion to dismiss Count Two of Plaintiff's complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), Fed.R.Civ.P. [Docket Item 17.]

         The principal issue to be decided is whether a consumer seeking to recover under the FCRA's private right of action under 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b) against a person furnishing inaccurate information must plead grounds to believe that a CRA informed the furnishing party of the consumer's dispute as required by 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2).

         For the reasons that follow, RoundPoint's motion to dismiss Count Two will be granted without prejudice. The Court finds as follows:

         1. Factual and Procedural Background.

         Plaintiff, a New Jersey resident, filed a complaint with this Court on April 21, 2017 alleging that RoundPoint and the CRAs were reporting inaccurate information relating to Plaintiff and her credit history “from at least November 2013.” [Docket Item 1, ¶¶ 7-8.] Plaintiff contends this inaccurate information includes a mortgage with Defendant RoundPoint that is her ex-husband's responsibility, and “consists of accounts and/or tradelines that do not belong to the Plaintiff.” (Id. ¶¶ 9-10.) Plaintiff further alleges the inaccurate information negatively reflects upon Plaintiff's repayment history, financial responsibility as a debtor, and creditworthiness. (Id. ¶ 10.) She asserts that she disputed this information with all named Defendants but that none of the Defendants engaged in any reasonable investigation or any investigation at all. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13.) As a result, Plaintiff claims actual damages. (Id. ¶¶ 15-17.)

         2. In Count Two of Plaintiff's complaint, [1] she alleges Defendant RoundPoint violated FCRA at §§ 1681n and 1681o by engaging in the following conduct:

a. willfully and negligently failing to conduct a reasonable investigation of the inaccurate information that Plaintiff disputed;
b. willfully and negligently failing to review all relevant information concerning Plaintiff's inaccurately reported tradelines;
c. willfully and negligently failing to report the results of investigations to the relevant consumer reporting agencies;
d. willfully and negligently failing to report the accurate status of the inaccurate information to all credit reporting agencies;
e. willfully and negligently failing to provide any and all credit reporting agencies with the factual information and evidence that Plaintiff provided to [Defendant];
f. willfully and negligently continuing to furnish and disseminate inaccurate, unlawful, and derogatory credit, account and other information concerning the Plaintiff to ...

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