Foul Odor here..the Shell Game is Played Out: Stern v. CBM

Maximum Possible Accuracy
David A. Szwak

Foul Odor here..the Shell Game is Played Out: Stern v. CBM

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:17 pm

Stern v. Credit Bureau of Milwaukee,
[1981, Wis. App.]
105 Wis.2d 647, 315 N.W.2d 511,

The court held that a consumer credit reporting agency did not violate the reasonable procedure requirement of 1681e[b], when it failed to investigate errors, which were not facially apparent in a computer-generated credit report received from another agency. A charge card applicant was rejected, because of a credit report which contained two erroneous statements. The report said that a civil judgment had been entered against the applicant and listed an incorrect former address for the applicant. The judgment had been entered against a similarly named person, who resided at the listed address. The entry of data into the computer used by the credit reporting agency was done by employees of a company which the reporting agency simply paid for the use of its computer services. The court said that, because the people who entered the incorrect data were neither employees nor agents of the reporting agency, the only issue it had to decide was whether reporting agency employees failed to follow reasonable procedures by failing to investigate the erroneous information received from the computer service company. The only name that appeared on the report was correct, and the applicant's correct former and correct current addresses were printed on the report along with the incorrect former address. Thus, said the court, because there was nothing on the face of the report that would have prompted an agency employee unfamiliar with the details of the applicant's financial and personal history to investigate the erroneous information, the failure to do so was reasonable.

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