Hawthorne v. Citicorp Data

This Folder discusses issues pertaining to credit bureau reinvestigations with emphasis on the Agencies' duty to provide its furnishers with all relevant information and copies of documents supplied by the consumer as part of the dispute to the Agency
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Hawthorne v. Citicorp Data

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Hawthorne v. Citicorp Data Systems, Inc.
216 F.Supp.2d 45
Jun 27, 2002

In 1970, Congress enacted the FCRA (alternatively the "Act") to promote "efficiency in the Nation's banking system and to protect consumer privacy." TRW, Inc. v. Andrews, 534 U.S. 19, 122 S.Ct. 441, 444, 151 L.Ed.2d 339 (2001) (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1681(a) (1994)). Towards these ends, the FCRA establishes the responsibilities and rights of consumers, furnishers of credit information, credit reporting agencies ("CRAs"), and users of credit information. See 15 U.S.C. § 1681(b) (setting forth purposes of the Act); § 1681n (setting forth consumer remedies under the Act); § 1681s-2 (setting forth duties of furnishers of information).
The substantive provision of the Act at issue in this case, § 1681s-2(b), is one which imposes duties upon furnishers of credit information, such as Defendant Citibank. Section 1681s-2(b) is entitled "Duties of furnishers of information upon notice of dispute" and mandates:
After receiving notice pursuant to section 1681i(a)(2) [FN1] of this title of a dispute with regard to the completeness or accuracy of any information provided by a person to a consumer reporting agency, the person shall--

FN1. Section 1681i(a)(2) provides in relevant part that when "a consumer reporting agency receives notice of a dispute from any consumer ..., the agency shall provide notification of the dispute to any person who provided any item of information in dispute...." 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2)(A). It further provides that, "[t]he consumer reporting agency shall promptly provide to the person who provided the information in dispute all relevant information regarding the dispute that is received by the agency from the consumer ...." 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2)(B).

(A) conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information;
(B) review all relevant information provided by the consumer reporting agency pursuant to section 1681i(a)(2) of this title;
(C) report the results of the investigation to the consumer reporting agency; and
(D) if the investigation finds that the information is incomplete or inaccurate, report those results to all other consumer reporting agencies to which the person furnished the information and that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis.
15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b).
The FCRA also creates a private right of action, by which consumers may bring suit for damages against, "any person" who violates or fails to comply with "any requirement imposed" under Section 1681. See 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681n and 1681o; see also TRW Inc., 122 S.Ct. at 444-45. As defined at § 1681a, the term "person" means "any individual, partnership, corporation, *48 trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity." 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(b). Given the expansive definition of "person" and the private cause of action created by the Act, the plain language of the Act apparently allows a consumer, such as Plaintiff, to sue a furnisher of information, such as Defendant Citibank, for damages.
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