1681i[c]: Sepulvado v. CSC

David A. Szwak

1681i[c]: Sepulvado v. CSC

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:50 pm

Sepulvado v. CSC Credit Services, Inc.
158 F.3d 890
C.A.5 (Tex.),1998.
Oct 23, 1998

We decline, at least in this case, to construe § 1681e(b) in a way that would require completeness without regard to whether the disputed entry was misleading. To frame the issue this way would require the Court to choose in this case between a rule that consumer reporting agencies may not report an assignment or secondary collection effort without independently investigating and then reporting on the details of the underlying obligation, and a rule that they are always excused from doing so. Such an approach ignores both the statutory balance adopted in the "reasonable procedures" language of § 1681e(b) and the effect of other statutory procedures, which are intended to govern the resolution of a consumer dispute about the content or completeness of an entry. See generally 15 U.S.C. § 1681i. We hold that CSC did not negligently fail to follow reasonable procedures when preparing the credit entry that reported the $12,333 deficiency. [FN7] Therefore, CSC did not violate *897 § 1681e(b) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Without liability there can be no damage award, and we need not review those damage issues raised by CSC on appeal and by the Sepulvados in their cross-appeal.


FN7. At trial, the Sepulvados claimed both that the CSC entry was inaccurate, in violation of § 1681e(b), and that CSC failed to respond appropriately once they registered their disagreement with the content of the entry, in violation of certain provisions of § 1681i and § 1681g of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. See id. § 1681i(a)(5) (requiring the agency to promptly delete or modify information that is unverifiable or incomplete); id. § 1681i(a)(3) (requiring the agency to provide written notice concerning the disposition of the dispute within five days); id. § 1681i(a)(6) (requiring written notice of results of reinvestigation); id. § 1681i(a)(6)(B)(iv) (requiring the agency to provide notice that the consumer has the statutory right to supplement the disputed information with the consumer's own statement disputing the
accuracy or completeness of the report); id. § 1681i(b) & (c) (permitting the consumer to supplement the entry with a statement setting forth the nature of the dispute); id. § 1681i(c) (requiring that the consumer's own statement be carried forward with the entry). The district court found that the Sepulvados failed to prove a violation of § 1681i or § 1681g, and that CSC was entitled to judgment as to those claims. On appeal, the Sepulvados have failed to brief, and therefore abandoned, any claim that the district court's disposition of their claims under § 1681i or § 1681g is error. See, e.g., MacArthur v. University of Texas Health Ctr., 45 F.3d 890, 895 (5th Cir.1995). We therefore express no opinion concerning whether CSC's conduct once the Sepulvados registered their disagreement with the content of the entry violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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