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Barakat v. Equifax Information Services, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

August 29, 2017

Ibrahim Barakat, Plaintiff,
v.
Equifax Information Services, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [50, 51, 53]

          Arthur J. Tarnow, Senior U.S. District Judge

         Plaintiff filed an amended complaint [7] on March 21, 2016, alleging that Defendants Capital One Bank USA, N.A. (“Capital One”), Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”), and Equifax Information Services, LLC (“Equifax”) negligently and willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to correct Plaintiff's alleged misleading credit report. Defendants filed Motions for Summary Judgment [50, 51, 53] on November 7, 2016. Plaintiff filed a response [57] on December 1, 2016 and Defendants replied [61, 62, 63] on December 15, 2016.

         Defendants also filed a Joint Motion to Exclude Plaintiff's Expert [58] on November 7, 2016. The Magistrate Judge granted that Motion on August 2, 2017 [70], and all evidence presented by Plaintiff's evidence is thus excluded from his response brief to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment.

         The Court finds the motion suitable for determination without a hearing with respect to all of Plaintiff's claims and in accord with Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment [50, 51, 53] are GRANTED.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff opened an account with Capital One in March 2009 and transferred outstanding balances in the amount of $30, 000 from two other credit cards to this account. Plaintiff failed to make the payment due on August 25, 2011, and failed to make any payments after that date. Therefore, Capital One charged off the Account in February 2012. In its monthly reporting to the Credit Reporting Agency (“CRAs”), Defendants Equifax and Experian, Capital One began reporting the status of Plaintiff's Account as being charged off.

         The reporting method used by Capital One was consistent with the industry standard Metro 2 Format, established by the Consumer Data Industry Association. [See 50-8; 51-4 at ¶¶23-25; 51-5 at ¶30]. Defendants Experian and Equifax reported Plaintiff's account as charged off based on the information provided by Capital One. The reporting on Plaintiff's account is seen below:

         (Image Omitted)

         Plaintiff sent Defendant Experian a dispute letter on November 24, 2015, stating, in pertinent part:

Further, you are reporting multiple charge offs under the payment history section of my credit report on the below trade line. This is false as an account cannot be charged off more than once. Please remove the multiple charge offs from my credit report on the following trade line:
*Capital One Bank USA, NA Account Number ********

[50-3]. On December 1, 2015 Plaintiff sent a dispute letter to Equifax, stating that the Account had “multiple charge offs under the payment history section of my credit report…this is false as an account cannot be charged off more than once” and requested that the multiple charges be removed. [51-3 at 9]. In response to these disputes, Defendants reviewed the information provided and investigated Plaintiff's claims with Capital One. [51-3; 50-4]. Capital One responded to both Defendants that the status of Plaintiff's payment history profile, account status and payment rating was accurate. [50-4; 51-3]. Equifax and Experian provided Plaintiff with the results of this investigation on December 5, 2015 and December 22, 2015 respectively. [50-5; 51-3].

         Standard ...


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