Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tyson v. Sterling Rental

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

March 18, 2015

SeTara Tyson, Plaintiff,
v.
Sterling Rental, d/b/a Car Source, et al., Defendants.

Mag. Judge Mona K. Majzoub

OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT [44]

JUDITH E. LEVY, United States District Judge.

This is a consumer credit case. Pending is plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment. (Dkt. 44.)

I. Background

On January 22, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary judgment on three claims: (1) violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(1), by virtue of defendants’ failure to provide her an adverse action notice; (2) violation of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act (“MVSFA”), M.C.L. § 492.101 et seq.; and (3) violation of the Michigan Credit Reform Act (“MCRA”), M.C.L. § 445.1851 et seq.

On August 10, 2013, defendant Car Source sold plaintiff a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. In the course of the sale, Car Source took a $1, 248 down payment from plaintiff. The payment consisted of a $1, 200 check from the Family Independence Agency, and $48 of plaintiff’s money. Car Source also created a retail installment contract so that plaintiff could finance the remaining balance owed on the car. (Dkt. 44-9.) Car Source, listed as “Creditor-Seller, ” then assigned the contract to Credit Acceptance Corporation (“CAC”), at which point CAC served as the creditor. However, Car Source fully controlled the terms of the contract, including down payment, interest rate, and the monthly payment owed. (Dkt. 44-12 at 2.)

On August 12, 2013, Car Source requested that plaintiff return to its premises. When plaintiff did, Car Source gave her an invoice stating that she owed it another $1, 500 down payment. The additional down payment was not referenced or included in the original contract. Car Source informed plaintiff that she must either pay the additional money or face legal action. Plaintiff did not have the money, and Car Source revoked the contract and kept the car.

Car Source did not issue an adverse action notice stating the reasons for its decision to revoke its extension of credit to plaintiff. As a matter of course, Car Source never issues adverse action notices. (Dkt. 44-2 at 87-88.) Car Source’s proffered rationale for the revocation of plaintiff’s contract was that plaintiff submitted fraudulent information to it in the course of the application process – namely, that her pay was significantly higher than it actually was. In the past, when faced with this situation, Car Source would usually either lower payments or charge a higher interest rate to the buyer. (Id.) II. Legal Standard Summary judgment is proper where “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Court may not grant summary judgment if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248. The Court “views the evidence, all facts, and any inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.” Pure Tech Sys., Inc. v. Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., 95 F.App'x 132, 135 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Skousen v. Brighton High Sch., 305 F.3d 520, 526 (6th Cir.2002)).

III. Analysis

Plaintiff seeks summary judgment on three counts: (1) violation of the ECOA, 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(1), because of defendants’ failure to provide an adverse action notice; (2) violation of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act (“MVSFA”), M.C.L. § 492.101 et seq.; and (3) violation of the Michigan Credit Reform Act (“MCRA”), M.C.L. § 445.1851 et seq.

A. Failure to Provide an Adverse Action Notice As Required by the Equal Credit Opportunity Act

Under ECOA, 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(2)-(3), a “creditor” is required to provide an adverse action notice in writing stating its specific reasons for the action taken. An adverse action “means a denial or revocation of credit, a change in the terms of an existing credit arrangement, or a refusal to grant credit in substantially the amount or on substantially the terms requested.” 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d)(6). The Act defines a creditor as “any person who regularly extends, renews, or continues credit; any person who regularly arranges for the extension, renewal, or continuation of credit; or any assignee of an original creditor who participates in the decision to extend, renew, or continue credit.” 15 U.S.C. § 1691a(e).

Courts determining whether a car dealership is a “creditor” for the purposes of ECOA have followed the analytic framework outlined in Treadway v. Gateway Chevrolet Oldsmobile Inc., 362 F.3d 971 (7th Cir. 2004). See, e.g., Gillom v. Ralph Thayer Auto. Livonia, Inc., 444 F.Supp.2d 763 (E.D. Mich. 2006); Fultz v. Lasco Ford, Inc., Case No. 06-cv-11687, 2007 WL 3379684 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 13, 2007).

The Treadway court treated the definition of creditor under the adverse action section of ECOA as one falling on a continuum, where, “[a]t some point along the continuum, a party becomes a creditor for the purposes of the notification requirements of the act.” Treadway, 362 F.3d at 980 (citing Bayard v. Behlmann Auto. Servs., Inc., 292 F.Supp.2d 1181, 1186 (E.D. Mo. 2003). A dealership that refers an applicant to a separate lender is a “creditor” under ECOA only for the purposes of actions ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.