The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a case alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and Racketeer and Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act involving a number of collection operations attempting to collect on a debt the appellant suspects was the result of identity theft.
A copy of the ruling in the case of Wang v. Verizon Communications can be accessed by clicking here.
The plaintiff began receiving collection calls from collectors in reference to a debt that was allegedly incurred to Verizon that was a result of service that was established in a residence owned by the plaintiff, but in which he did not reside. The plaintiff suspected he was the victim of identity theft, and disputed the debt. Two years later, the plaintiff noticed the debt on his credit report and that it was not being disputed.
The plaintiff filed suit, alleging the defendants violated the FCRA, FDCPA, and RICO. A District Court judge dismissed the suit, which the plaintiff appealed to the Second Circuit.
The lower court was correct to dismiss the FCRA claim, the Appeals Court ruled, because the credit reporting agencies corrected the allegedly inaccurate information within 30 days of being notified. His FDCPA claim against Verizon was right to be dismissed because Verizon isn’t a debt collector under the FDCPA, the Appeals Court noted.
The Appeals Court also sided with the District Court judge that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate how the communications he received from the defendant constituted wire fraud and were therefore subject to RICO.