A District Court judge in Ohio has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss after it was sued for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by not effectively communicating to a credit bureau that a debt had been disputed.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Shields v. CSBC, Inc. d/b/a Centralized Business Solution Company f/k/a Credit Bureau of Stark County can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff incurred a debt that was placed with the defendant for collection. In March 2019, the plaintiff noticed the debt on her credit report. In May 2019, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant disputing the debt. Six weeks after the plaintiff sent the letter, she checked her credit report again and noted that the debts were not being reported as disputed.
The issue keeping this case alive is a document, dated July 9, 2019, provided by the plaintiff from “Credit Karma” that listed the plaintiff’s credit tradelines. The document shows the debt in question along with indicating that the debt was “Last Reported on July 1, 2019.” Since the plaintiff disputed the debt in May, the defendant was bound to report the debt as disputed if it reported the debt again to the credit bureaus on July 1, the plaintiff alleges. The defendant argued that the Credit Karma report should not be considered as evidence because the plaintiff did not make a claim in her complaint that the defendant made a new communication to the credit bureaus on July 1.
Ruling that the plaintiff’s complaint should have been more carefully drafted, Judge Sara Lioi of the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, gave the plaintiff time to file an amended complaint and then gave the defendant time to file a new pleading.