Judge Grants MSJ For Agency in FCRA, FDCPA Case Over Disputed Debt

A District Court judge in Pennsylvania has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment on all claims in a Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case after it was accused by the plaintiff of not properly investigating a disputed debt because the plaintiff did not do his part in submitting documents to substantiate his claim that he was the victim of identity theft.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Ingram v. Experian Information Solutions et al can be accessed by clicking here.

The remaining defendant in the case is a second collection agency that the account was placed with, after the plaintiff had disputed the debt with the original creditor. When it received the dispute notification, the creditor notified the plaintiff that additional information was required, including a fraud and identity theft affidavit, proof of residence, a police report, and a valid government-issued ID. None of that was provided to the creditor until after the plaintiff had filed his suit. The plaintiff did dispute the debt twice through the credit reporting agencies, but the plaintiff did not mention fraud or identity theft in his initial dispute.

The plaintiff accused the defendant of violating Section 1681s-2(b) of the FCRA by not conducting a reasonable investigation upon receipt of a dispute, and Sections 1692e(2), 1692e(8), 1692e(10), and 1692f(1) of the FDCPA.

With respect to the FCRA claim, Judge Mitchell Goldberg of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled the plaintiff did not do his part to back up his claim that the debt was not his. Labeling the information that was produced as “scant,” Judge Goldberg ruled that the dispute filed by the plaintiff was frivolous because he failed to provide sufficient evidence for the defendant to investigate.

With respect to the FDCPA claims, the agency never sent any communication to the plaintiff and the plaintiff submitted no evidence that the agency engaged in “unfair or unconscionable” conduct.

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