1681e[b]: Reed v. Experian

Maximum Possible Accuracy
David A. Szwak

1681e[b]: Reed v. Experian

Postby David A. Szwak » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:40 pm

Reed v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
321 F.Supp.2d 1109

Under FCRA, CRAs are required to maintain reasonable procedures calculated to ensure "maximum possible accuracy" of consumer credit reports. 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b). For plaintiff's § 1861e(b) claims to survive defendants' motions for summary judgment, he must present evidence that: (1) Experian and CSC negligently or willfully failed to follow reasonable procedures intended to assure the accuracy of their reports, (2) they reported inaccurate credit information about plaintiff, (3) plaintiff suffered harm, and (4) defendants' failure to follow reasonable procedures was the cause of that harm. See Whelan v. Trans Union Credit Reporting Agency, 862 F.Supp. 824, 829 (E.D.N.Y.1994). However, if Experian or CSC has willfully violated the Act, plaintiff may be entitled to statutory damages without a showing of actual damages. 15 U.S.C. § 1681n(a)(1)(A). He may also be entitled to punitive damages. 15 U.S.C. § 1681n(a)(2).
Once a consumer has disputed information contained in a CRA's credit report, the CRA is required to reinvestigate and confirm, correct or delete the disputed information. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(1)(A). The CRA must notify the furnisher of the disputed information of the substance of the dispute and provide it with all relevant information received from the consumer. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2)(A) & (B). If the information is determined to be inaccurate, incomplete or unverifiable, the CRA must delete the information or otherwise appropriately modify the report. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(5)(A). Thus, to avoid summary judgment on this claim, plaintiff must present evidence that he disputed information in Experian's and CSC's reports and that they failed to reinvestigate the information, or failed to confirm, correct, modify *1114 or delete that information. See Podell v. Citicorp Diners Club, Inc., 914 F.Supp. 1025, 1032 (S.D.N.Y.1996). Plaintiff must demonstrate that he has suffered harm as result of the negligence of Experian and CSC, or that he is entitled to statutory or punitive damages as a result of their willful misconduct. See 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n & 1681o.

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