Judge Grants Motion for Defendant in FCRA Case Over Reasonable Investigation

A District Court judge in Illinois has granted a defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings after it was accused of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not conducting a reasonable investigation after an account was disputed, ruling that the plaintiff lacked standing because he did not allege to have suffered a concrete injury as a result.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Angulo v. Truist Bank, d/b/a Sheffield Financial, can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff had a credit account with the defendant and paid it off in full. The defendant reported the account as closed and the payment status as “30 days past due.” The plaintiff submitted a dispute to a credit reporting agency and the credit reporting agency notified the defendant. The defendant allegedly violated the FCRA because it failed to conduct a reasonable investigation since no changes were made and the information continued to remain on his credit report. The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the conduct of the defendant resulted in the concrete harm in the form of “loss of credit, loss of ability to purchase and benefit from credit, a chilling effect on applications for future credit, and the mental and emotional pain, anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment of credit denial.”

To have standing to sue in federal court, the plaintiff must have suffered a concrete injury. Unfortunately, the plaintiff did not support his claims with actual facts of how he suffered a loss of credit, or the ability to purchase and benefit from credit, noted Judge Virginia M. Kendall of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff “… never alleged any specific instance of credit denial, let allow how he experienced reputational harm from it,” Judge Kendall wrote. “Without more, Angulo’s bare allegation of ‘humiliation and embarrassment of credit denial’ is too ‘conjectural or hypothetical’ to establish standing.”

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