Judge Grants MSJ For Defendant in FCRA Case Over Disputed Debts

A District Court judge in Maryland has granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a Fair Credit Reporting Act case, ruling the plaintiff’s claim that the defendant did not conduct a reasonable investigation was without merit and that the plaintiff did not produce enough evidence to make his case.

A copy of the ruling in the case of Banerjee v. Nationwide Recovery Services can be accessed by clicking here.

The plaintiff incurred two separate debts to a healthcare provider that were placed with the defendant for collection. The defendant furnished information about the debts to the credit reporting agencies. The plaintiff contacted the defendant to dispute the debt, at which point the defendant contacted the healthcare provider to verify the accuracy of the information. The defendant also began labeling the account as disputed with the credit reporting agencies.

The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendant violated the FCRA by failing to properly investigate the disputes and continuing to report the debts to the CRAs, as well as the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, and the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act.

The plaintiff sought an “in banc” review of his case and asked for counsel to be appointed, but Judge Paula Xinis of the District Court for the District of Maryland noted that “en banc” reviews were only possible at the Appeals Court level and that the plaintiff had litigated this case for two years on his own and denied the request.

Judge Xinis then noted that the FACT Act does not have a private right of action, and the CARD Act and the FCCCDA did not apply.

Turning to the FCRA claims, the plaintiff did not provide any evidence that the investigation conducted by the defendant was not reasonable, other than to accuse the defendant of not conducting an investigation in the first place. The plaintiff also provided a statement from the healthcare provider that appears to indicate that there is no overdue debt owed by the plaintiff, but “it provides no relevant information about when Banerjee incurred the debts, whether he owed any debts when Nationwide reported them in 2019, or more to the point, whether Nationwide conducted a reasonable investigation once Banerjee disputed the accuracy of the debts,” Judge Xinis wrote.

Check Also

CFPB Won’t Pursue Enforcement Action with Opportun Over Legal Collection Practices

For the executives of Opportun Inc., it probably feels like Christmas in March. The company …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *