Judge Denies MTD in FDCPA Case Over Misreported Debt

Every time inaccurate information is furnished to a credit reporting agency constitutes a separate and discrete violation, ruled a District Court judge in Ohio, who denied a defendant’s partial motion to dismiss a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act case that it argued was time-barred because the one-year statute of limitations to bring the suit had expired.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Radford v. Equifax Information Services et al. can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff was sued by the defendant for an unpaid debt and the two sides reached a settlement in which the plaintiff repaid the debt in full — on March 3, 2020. Between April 2020 and December 2021, the plaintiff disputed the item on his credit report because the defendant was still reporting the debt as open and past due. The plaintiff obtained copies of his credit report on July 20, 2021 and filed disputes with the three CRAs on August 17, 2021. The plaintiff obtained copies of his credit report in October 2021 and the debt was still being reported as open and past due. The plaintiff filed his suit in February 2022, accusing the furnisher of violating the FDCPA.

The furnisher filed a motion to dismiss the FDCPA claim, arguing that the one-year statute of limitations to sue under the FDCPA started in April 2020 when the error on his credit report was first discovered. Any alleged violations that occurred after the initial discovery were “continuing violations” of the initial violation and thus time-barred because the plaintiff did not file his suit until February 2022, the defendant argued.

Because the plaintiff obtained copies of his credit report in July and October of 2021 and then filed his suit in February 2022, the statute of limitations had not expired, ruled Judge John R. Adams of the District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The defendant’s “… alleged repeated incorrect reporting of the account within the one-year statute of limitations period constitutes discrete violations, and they are not time-barred,” Judge Adams wrote.

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