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Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss FCRA Suit on Statute of Limitations Defense

A federal judge in Michigan has opted not to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a trio of companies violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by accessing the plaintiff’s credit report without a permissible purpose because the statute of limitations had expired, but did express “serious reservations” about the timeliness of the claims being made by the plaintiff.

A copy of the ruling in Blake v. TransUnion et al can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff obtained a copy of her credit report on July 24, 2014, and noted that two of the defendants had accessed her report for promotional purposes. However, the plaintiff waited until February 2, 2018 to file a complaint about the alleged violations of the FCRA. The defendants all filed motions to dismiss, arguing that the two-year statute of limitations in the FCRA had expired, but the judge sided with the plaintiff in ruling that the statute of limitations does not begin running when an individual notices there are issues on his or her credit report, but when the alleged violations are “discovered.”

Because the plaintiff did not know the identity of the two defendants that accessed her credit report for promotional purposes, she could not determine whether they had a permissible purpose to access the report when she learned of it in 2014.

Despite denying the motion to dismiss the charges, Judge Mark Goldsmith of the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, did offer some consolation to the defendants about this case moving forward.

“Although Blake’s complaint survives defendants’ initial salvo of dispositive motions, the Court has serious reservations about the timeliness of these claims,” Judge Goldsmith wrote. “The Court expects the parties to explore whether these claims are indeed timely earlier rather than later in discovery.”

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