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McComas v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington

July 29, 2015



DANNY C. REEVES, District Judge.

This matter is pending for consideration of a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian") in this action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. ("FCRA"). Plaintiff Suzanne McComas seeks damages relating to two separate errors in two accounts reflected in her Experian information. Experian used reasonable procedures to assure accuracy of the information included in McComas' credit report and complied with its obligations to promptly investigate and correct errors. Accordingly, Experian's motion for summary judgment will be granted.


Experian is a Consumer Reporting Agency ("CRA") subject to the FCRA. As a CRA, Experian collects information from data furnishers, known as "subscribers, " and then provides that information to the individual, or consumer, and creditors. [Record No. 53-3, p. 3] Experian does not originate the credit information contained in consumer credit reports. [ Id. ] It does not extend or deny credit, but provides a resource for creditors and others to access. [ Id. ] Subscribers submit updates to the accounts for individual consumers. An individual's account information may also be updated as a part of the dispute resolution process or single item update. [ Id. ]

A. H & R Account

In 2013, McComas tried to obtain a mortgage loan from Farm Credit Mid-America and Central Kentucky AgCredit to purchase a home in Cynthiana, Kentucky; however, her applications were denied. [Record No. 53-4, p. 21] She eventually applied for, and obtained, financing for the property from Whitaker Bank. [Record No. 53-4, p. 11] McComas and her ex-husband, a co-signer on the mortgage, own the Cynthiana home jointly. [Record No. 53-4, p. 12]

On July 24, 2013, an Experian agent processing a transaction log from H & R Accounts made a mistake when revising McComas' account information. [Record No. 53-3, p. 6] As a result, between July 24, 2013 and August 27, 2013, Experian's records erroneously reflected that one of McComas' debts was a foreclosure action with H & R Accounts with a past due balance totaling $342, 732.00. [Record No. 53-3, pp. 6-7] Prior to July 24, 2013, the H & R Account was accurately reported as a collection in the amount of $209.00. [Record Nos. 1, ¶ 8; 53-4, p. 21-22]

On August 26, 2013, McComas contacted Experian regarding the error. [Record No. 53-4, p. 25] Experian started the reinvestigation the same day by contacting H & R Accounts to investigate the accuracy of the report. [Record No. 53-3, p. 7] The next day, H & R Accounts instructed Experian to delete the account. [Record No. 53-3, p. 7] Experian deleted the account the same day and forwarded notification of the resolution to McComas. [Record Nos. 53-3, p. 7; 53-4, p. 17; 53-5]

Although Experian's records relating to H & R Accounts were inaccurate between July 24, 2013 and August 27, 2013, there were no inquiries for mortgage financing between those dates. [Record No. 55-3, p. 22] Thus, none of the mortgage financing entities, including Farm Credit Mid-America, Kentucky Bank, Central Kentucky AgCredit, or Whitaker Bank, received a credit report with the incorrect information regarding H & R Accounts. [Record No. 53-3, p. 8]

B. Citibank Account

In the course of responding to a dispute letter regarding McComas' account with Home Depot, financed through Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank Account"), Citibank provided an updated account balance to Experian on January 9, 2014. [Record No. 53-3, p. 8] In that correspondence, Citibank listed the account balance as $53, 700.00 rather than the correct balance of $5, 370.00. [Record No. 53-3, p. 9] Although the balance increased, the rest of the Citibank Account information remained accurate. Thus, at all relevant times, the Citibank Account accurately reflected that it was "charged off, " with $5, 370.00 written off by Citibank. [Record No. 53-11, p. 9]

In April of 2014, McComas applied to refinance her mortgage without a cosigner. [Record No. 53-4, p. 13-14] On April 11, 2014, Veterans United Home Loans ("Veterans United") obtained a tri-merged credit report, which contained credit scores and other information by Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. The tri-merged credit report listed McComas' Experian credit score as 628, her Trans Union score as 698, and her Equifax score as 558. [Record No. 53-7, p. 11] Veterans United denied McComas' application. It listed the principal reason[1] for the denial as "[d]elinquent past or present credit obligation with others." [Record No. 53-9, p. 2]

On May 8, 2014, McComas contacted Experian to request a reinvestigation of the Citibank Account. [Record No. 53-4, p. 26] Experian began the reinvestigation on the same day. [Record No. 53-3, p. 9] On May 14, 2014, Citibank responded to Experian with instructions to revise McComas' recent balance to $5, 370.00 and update the past due amount from $4, 463 to $4, 733. [Record No. 53-3, p. 9] Experian made the requested changes on the report and sent McComas documentation regarding the results of the reinvestigation on the same day. [ Id. ]

Six days later, on May 20, 2014, Veterans United requested another tri-merged credit report. This new tri-merged report accurately reflected the recent balance the Citibank Account as $5, 370.00. [Record No. 53-17, p. 5] Veterans United subsequently contacted ...

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