1681i[c]: Sarver v. Experian

David A. Szwak

1681i[c]: Sarver v. Experian

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:30 pm

Sarver v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.
299 F.Supp.2d 875
N.D.Ill.,2004.
Feb 02, 2004

Plaintiff Lloyd Sarver alleges that defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian") violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., by reporting inaccurate information in his credit report. Experian moves for summary judgment, claiming it had no notice of Mr. Sarver's dispute and that Mr. Sarver was in any case not injured by the information. I grant that motion.
On August 2, 2002, Monogram Bank of Georgia denied Mr. Sarver credit, citing his credit report and specifically a bankruptcy that appeared therein. Mr. Sarver contacted Experian twice, on July 18 and August 26, 2002, obtaining a copy of his credit report each time. On both reports, accounts with Cross Country Bank were listed as having been discharged in bankruptcy. No other accounts had this designation on Mr. Sarver's reports. On August 29, 2002, Mr. Sarver wrote Experian, stating that the bankruptcy information was inaccurate and asking that it be removed from his report. Mr. Sarver provided his full name and address, but no other identifying information. On September 11, 2002, Experian sent Mr. Sarver a letter requesting further information, including his Social Security number, before it could begin an investigation. On October 30, 2002, Mr. Sarver filed the present lawsuit against Experian, making claims under 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681i(a), 1681i(c), and 1681e(b).

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Mr. Sarver is also unable to show any actual injury caused by the incorrect information appearing on his credit report. Assuming his August 29 letter served as notice, Experian could only potentially be liable for injury occurring after that date. No credit granting agency requested Mr. Sarver's credit report between August 29, 2002 and at least February 20, 2003. [FN2] Mr. Sarver claims that he suffered emotional and mental distress as a result of the incorrect information. While emotional distress could potentially constitute actual damages, the distress must result from the publication of the inaccurate information to a third party. See, e.g., Field v. Trans Union LLC, No. 01-C6398, 2002 WL 849589 at *5 (N.D.Ill. May 3, 2002). Mr. Sarver presents no evidence that his credit report was published to any third party in the time period between his letter to Experian and the filing of this lawsuit. Without an injury, Mr. Sarver cannot sustain his claims under FCRA.


FN2. Mr. Sarver requested and was sent another copy of his credit report from Experian on February 20, 2003. In the interim, Cross Country Bank had updated and corrected its entries with Experian.


Mr. Sarver also alleges that Experian violated FCRA by failing to note the dispute of his inaccurate information. 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(c). Mr. Sarver makes no attempt to defend this claim on summary judgement, and so it fails. Oak Brook Hotel Co. v. Teachers Ins. and Annuity Ass'n, 846 F.Supp. 634 (N.D.Ill.1994).
Finally, Mr. Sarver alleges that Experian has willfully violated FCRA and therefore he is entitled to both attorney's fees *878 and punitive damages. 15 U.S.C. § 1681n. Mr. Sarver is unable to establish a violation of FCRA, as explained above, let alone a willful violation. This claim fails.

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