Judge Grants MSJ for Defense in FDCPA Case Over Alleged Misreported Debt

A District Court judge in Virginia has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment after it was accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by allegedly inaccurately reporting the amount of a debt to the bureaus, ruling that the plaintiff’s omission of all but one page of his credit report in his complaint painted a fuller picture of the situation that made it clear that the defendant did not misreport the amount that was owed.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Morgan v. AR Resources can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff incurred a medical debt that was placed with the defendant for collection. The defendant sent two letters to the plaintiff, one to collect the debt of $420 and one to collect a later charge of $42. The plaintiff then obtained a copy of his credit report, one page of which showed an incorrect balance on the debt in question. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated Section 1692f(1) of the FDCPA by reporting false amounts to the credit bureaus, and included one page of his credit report. But now that the case had progressed to the summary judgment phase, more evidence could be admitted, like the remaining pages of the plaintiff’s credit report. The page that was submitted was the “before dispute” section of the credit report. The very next page of the report, titled, “after dispute” correctly reflected the accurate balance that was unpaid.

“Placing that one page in the full context of the January 2019 Experian report, as well as in the context of earlier and subsequent reports and the rest of the record evidence, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has not demonstrated the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact that AR Resources communicated account information to Experian that it knew or should have known was false,” ruled Judge Norman K. Moon of the District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

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