United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDERG RANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT [#13]
Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge
before the Court is Defendant, LJ Ross Associates,
Inc.'s, Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. No. 13.
Plaintiff's complaint alleges violations of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). Defendant
asserts that Plaintiff has not brought enough evidence to
prove either of these claims. For the reasons discussed
below, this Court will grant Defendant's Motion.
March 4, 2014, Beaumont Royal Oak Hospital referred a debt
obligation owed by Plaintiff Nicholas Tennant to the
Defendant for collection. Dkt. No. 13, pg. 12 (Pg. ID 52).
Defendant then sent Plaintiff a collection letter and
reported the debt to credit reporting agencies as due.
Id. The parties reached a settlement on the debt.
Id. Plaintiff made an agreed-upon settlement
payment, and Defendant reported Plaintiff's debt to the
credit bureaus as paid in full with a zero balance.
Id. On October 4, 2016, Plaintiff filed a dispute.
Id. Plaintiff's dispute stated that Defendant
said it would delete the account of his debt from his credit
report. Id. at pg. 13 (Pg. ID 53). Defendant then
launched an investigation to discover if it had actually told
Plaintiff it would delete the account of his debt from his
credit reports. Id. Defendant did not delete the
account of Plaintiff's debt from his credit reports
because Defendant found that the reported information of
Plaintiff having the debt was accurate. Id.
16, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the State of
Michigan 44th District Court. Dkt. No. 1, pg. 5 (Pg. ID 5).
Plaintiff's complaint consists of a single form document
in which he stated that Defendant “is falsely reporting
to my credit report resulting [in] lower credit score and
therefore higher interest and loan payments.”
Id. Defendant removed the action to this Court on
August 1, 2017. Dkt. No. 1. Defendant filed its Motion for
Summary Judgment on March 23, 2018. Dkt. No. 13. Plaintiff
did not file a response. Plaintiff failed to appear at a
deposition after Defendants served him with a subpoena, and
Plaintiff has not answered or returned phone calls from
Defendant's counsel. Dkt. No. 13, pg. 11 (Pg. ID 51).
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) governs summary judgment. The
Rule states, “summary judgment shall be granted if
‘there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter
of law.'” Cehrs v. Ne. Ohio Alzheimer's
Research Ctr., 155 F.3d 775, 779 (6th Cir. 1998).
“All factual inferences ‘must be viewed in the
light most favorable to the party opposing the
motion.'” Id. (quoting Matsushita
Elec. Indus., Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587 (1986)). There is a genuine issue of material fact
“if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
(quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 255 (1986)). Ultimately, the court evaluates
“whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52.
complaint consists of a one-page form document. Dkt. No. 1,
pg. 5 (Pg. ID 5). In the complaint, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant “is falsely reporting to my credit report
resulting [in] lower credit score and therefore higher
interest and loan payments.” Id. The complaint
does not state exactly under what statutes or other theories
Plaintiff is suing Defendant. However, based on the language
of Plaintiff's reasons for bringing the claim and
Defendant's Motion, this Court will assess
Plaintiff's claims under the FCRA and FDCPA.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
FCRA allows consumers to bring suit to recover actual damages
from “[a]ny person who is negligent in failing to
comply with any requirement imposed . . . with respect to any
consumer” under the Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1681o. A
consumer may seek actual or statutory damages when a person
“willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed
. . . with respect to any consumer.” Id. at
§ 1681n; Boggio v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 696
F.3d 611, 615 (6th Cir. 2012). Under the FCRA, a person
cannot furnish inaccurate information about a consumer to any
consumer reporting agency. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(a)(1)(A).
If a person receives notice of a dispute about the accuracy
of any information that the person provides to a consumer
reporting agency, then the person must conduct an
investigation with respect to the disputed information.
Id. at § 1681s-2(b)(1)(A).
case, Plaintiff brought a dispute to the Defendant regarding
the account of his hospital debt appearing on his credit
report. Defendant conducted an investigation, as outlined in
the declaration of Nichole Clemons, compliance specialist for
Defendant. Dkt. No. 13-1, pg. 6 (Pg. ID 68). After the
investigation, Defendant concluded that the reported
information regarding Plaintiff's debt with Beaumont
Hospital was accurate. Id. Therefore, it did not
remove the account of Plaintiff's debt from his credit
report. Id. Defendant has brought sufficient
evidence to prove that it did not violate the FCRA by
reporting inaccurate credit information or failing to conduct
an investigation. Plaintiff has brought forth no counter
evidence suggesting that Defendant violated the FCRA.
Plaintiff only brings forth the allegation in his complaint
that Defendant falsely reported information on his credit
report. Therefore, this Court holds that Defendant is
entitled to summary judgment on Plaintiff's FCRA claim.
Fair Debt ...