1681c[f]: Plaintiff's Facts Did Not Fit Claim:Soghomonian

David A. Szwak

1681c[f]: Plaintiff's Facts Did Not Fit Claim:Soghomonian

Postby David A. Szwak » Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:57 pm

Soghomonian v. U.S.,
278 F.Supp.2d 1151, 92 A.F.T.R.2d 2003-5919, E.D.Cal., Jul 29, 2003

Finally, the court notes that Plaintiffs' opposition papers assert that Trans Union failed to "flag [a] disputed item of information in [their] credit report" in violation of a provision of the FCRA they describe as section "1681(c)." In fact, there is no section 1681(c). The section that Plaintiffs probably intend to cite is 1681c, which states (as a relevant here) that "[if] a consumer reporting agency is notified pursuant to section 1681s-2(a)(3) of this title that information regarding a consumer *1174 [that] was furnished to that agency is disputed by the consumer, the agency shall indicate that fact in each consumer report that includes the disputed information." 15 U.S.C. § 1681c(f). Section 1681s-2(a)(3), in turn, refers to situations in which a consumer disputes some information contained in the consumer's credit report not with the credit reporting agency but with "any person" who provides information to the credit reporting agency. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a)(3). In other words, sections 1681c(f) and 1681s-2(a)(3), when read together, require that a provider of information to a credit reporting agency-- probably the creditor itself in most cases--must notify the agency when it receives from the consumer a statement that the information is in dispute, and the credit reporting agency cannot thereafter report the information without also reporting the existence of the dispute. Here, of course, the source of the disputed information was the IRS. (Later it may have been Hogan, but there is no allegation in the complaint that Plaintiffs complained to Hogan, as opposed to Trans Union; the allegation is that Plaintiffs complained to Trans Union and Trans Union failed to take proper action.) However, Plaintiffs do not allege that Trans Union failed to take proper action after being notified by the IRS of the existence of the tax lien dispute. Instead, Plaintiffs allege that Trans Union failed to take proper action after being notified by Plaintiffs that the tax liens were disputed. Thus, it can be seen that subsection 1681c(f)--if this is the section Plaintiffs mean to rely on, a fact which is by no means entirely clear--does not apply to the present case. The court accordingly concludes that Plaintiffs may not proceed to trial on any such theory.

For the reasons set forth above,
(1) Trans Union's motion for summary judgment IS HEREBY DENIED in its entirety;
(2) notwithstanding the foregoing, Plaintiffs may not proceed to trial on any theory based on 15 U.S.C. section 1681c(f), or on the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act;
(3) Plaintiffs may not proceed to trial on any "permissible purpose" theory under 15 U.S.C. section 1681b(a); and
(4) in light of this court's July 23, 2003, order vacating certain dates in this matter, Trans Union's motion to continue the trial IS HEREBY DENIED AS MOOT.

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