Bankruptcy: Stewart v. CBI

Information that should and should not be reported where there is a bankruptcy.
David A. Szwak

Bankruptcy: Stewart v. CBI

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Oct 24, 2005 6:27 pm

Stewart v. Credit Bureau, Inc.,
734 F.2d 47, 236 U.S.App.D.C. 146, D.C.Cir., May 04, 1984

Appellant James Stewart appeals from a district court order granting summary judgment for the Credit Bureau Incorporated of Georgia (CBI) and dismissing all of Stewart's claims. Stewart's main contention is that CBI violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act's (FCRA or Act) requirement that a consumer reporting agency "follow reasonable procedures, to assure maximum accuracy," 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b), [FN1] when it inaccurately reported to credit grantors that he had filed for bankruptcy under a wage earner plan. Stewart claims as well that the procedures followed by CBI after he disputed other adverse entries in his credit file also violate section 1681e(b).
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Consumer brought action against credit reporting agency, claiming that inaccurate credit report injured him by causing denial of applications for credit cards, and denial of membership in credit reporting agency, and that such inaccuracy resulted from agency's failure to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum accuracy in violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act. Upon agency's motion for summary judgment, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Norma Holloway Johnson, J., granted the motion, and consumer appealed.

The Court of Appeals held that: (1) consumer cannot rest on showing of mere inaccuracy in credit report issued by consumer reporting agency to establish a violation of Fair Credit Reporting Act requirement that an agency follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum accuracy in its reports; (2) evidence created genuine issue of material fact as to whether agency followed reasonable procedures to assure accuracy of consumer's credit report, precluding summary judgment; (3) evidence raised genuine issue of material fact regarding reason agency denied consumer membership in agency, precluding summary judgment; and (4) reinvestigated and corrected report was not so fundamentally incomplete as to form basis for claim that reinvestigation procedures were inadequate to reasonably assure accurate corrections of disputed items, in violation of section of Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Affirmed in part; vacated and remanded in part.

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