United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
BERNARD A. FRIEDMAN SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is presently before the Court on defendant's
motion for summary judgment [docket entry 14]. Plaintiff has
responded and defendant has replied. Pursuant to E.D. Mich.
LR 7.1(f)(2), the Court shall decide this motion without a
has brought this action under the Equal Credit Opportunity
Act (“ECOA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1691, et seq. He
alleges that on November 30, 2016, he went to defendant's
place of business, a Ford dealership in Grand Blanc,
Michigan, to purchase a vehicle. Compl. ¶ 7. Plaintiff
alleges that he “completed a credit application,
” that defendant “denied credit . . . on the
terms he requested, ” and that defendant “failed
to provide [plaintiff] with a notice of adverse action
compliant with the requirements of the ECOA.”
Id. ¶¶ 8, 9, 11. Plaintiff seeks to
certify and represent a class of similarly situated
consumers. He also seeks damages, costs, attorney fees, and
declaratory and injunctive relief.
acknowledges that under the ECOA a creditor must provide a
statement of reasons to a credit applicant against whom
adverse action is taken. However, defendant argues that in the
present case plaintiff was not entitled to such notice
because he withdrew his credit application and that, as a
result, there was no credit application for it to act upon
and it therefore did not, and could not, take any adverse
action. Defendant also argues that it did not deny plaintiff
credit. Plaintiff concedes that he did not purchase a vehicle
from defendant, but he contends that defendant is nonetheless
liable for having failed to provide him with written notice
that it denied his request for credit.
material facts are not genuinely disputed. Timothy Smith, the
only Lasco salesperson who interacted with plaintiff, avers
that plaintiff came to Lasco's sales lot on November 30,
2016, and expressed interest in a 2003 Ford F-150 pickup
truck. Smith Aff. ¶ 4. Plaintiff and his wife completed
a joint application for credit. Id. ¶ 7;
Def.'s Ex. A-3. Defendant offered to finance the $6, 999
purchase price over a 66-month term at $124.59 per month.
Smith Aff. ¶ 5; Def.'s Ex. A-2. Plaintiff paid a
$500 deposit. Smith Aff. ¶ 6; Def.'s Ex. A-2. The
next day plaintiff told Smith “that he liked the truck
and the payment, but he had some concerns with warning lights
[and that] [h]e and his wife decided not to go through with
the purchase and asked for a refund of the $500.00 deposit
placed on the truck.” Smith Aff. ¶ 8. Defendant
refunded the deposit. Id. On December 6, plaintiff
told Smith that “he was looking for a truck in better
condition that could meet his and his wife's payment
goals.” Id. ¶ 9. On December 9, plaintiff
told Smith that he had purchased a truck elsewhere.
Id. ¶ 10.
claims that defendant took adverse action within the meaning
of the ECOA by requiring his wife to co-sign his application.
He avers that he “completed a credit application,
” that “[t]he sales representative took my
personal identifying information for the purpose of pulling
my credit to assess my ability to attain financing, ”
and that the sales representative then “told me that
they would need my wife to be a joint applicant because my
credit score was too low.” Pl.'s Decl. ¶¶
5, 6, 8. Plaintiff avers that defendant “refused to
accept my application for a credit purchase of a vehicle on
my own.” Id. ¶ 10.
has not produced the credit application he says he completed
in an effort to obtain credit without a co-signer. Defendant
denies that plaintiff submitted any credit application other
than the joint application attached to their motion as Ex.
A-3. Given plaintiff's failure to produce the application
- or any evidence that defendant checked his credit score
alone and then refused to proceed unless his
wife co-signed - no reasonable jury could find that plaintiff
“completed a credit application” just for
himself, as he claims.
assuming plaintiff did initially submit an application solely
on his own behalf, defendant plainly did not act on it
adversely, as it counter-offered to provide credit on
precisely the terms he had requested. Indeed, the only
“term” plaintiff says he sought was “a
monthly payment of $100-150, ” Pl.'s Decl. ¶
4, and defendant offered a monthly payment of $124.59.
Plaintiff decided not to accept this offer because, as Smith
avers and as plaintiff concedes, he and his wife found the
trucks defendant had shown them to be “unfit, ”
not because he found the credit offer to be unsatisfactory.
By demanding (and promptly obtaining) a refund of his deposit
and purchasing a truck elsewhere, plaintiff abandoned his
credit application and there was, at that point in time, no
application for defendant to act upon. Moreover, defendant
did not act “adversely” on the application
because, as noted, it offered plaintiff credit on the term he
requested before he and his wife walked away and took their
these circumstances, no reasonable jury could find that
defendant took adverse action on plaintiff's application
for credit. Having not taken any adverse action, defendant
was not required to give plaintiff any notice of adverse
action. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that defendant's
motion for summary judgment is granted.
FURTHER ORDERED that the remaining motions in this matter are
denied as moot.
 15 U.S.C. § 1691(d) states in
(1) Within thirty days (or such longer reasonable
time as specified in regulations of the Bureau for any
class of credit transaction) after receipt of a completed
application for credit, a creditor shall notify the
applicant of its action on the application.
(2) Each applicant against whom adverse action is
taken shall be entitled to a statement of reasons for such
action from the creditor. A creditor satisfies this
(A) providing statements of reasons in writing as a
matter of course to applicants against whom adverse action
is taken; or (B) giving written notification of adverse
action which discloses (i) the applicant's right to a
statement of reasons within thirty days after receipt by
the creditor of a request made within sixty days after such
notification, and (ii) the identity of the person or office
from which such statement may be obtained. Such statement
may be given orally if the written notification advises the
applicant of his right to have the statement of reasons
confirmed in writing on written request.
* * *
(6) For purposes of this subsection, the term
“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. Such
term does not include ...