Sixth Circuit Allows Private FCRA Action To Proceed Against Bank


On September 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit revived an individual’s private action under FCRA against a bank, alleging that the bank failed to adequately investigate and respond to notices it received from several consumer reporting agencies regarding disputed car loan. Boggio v. USAA Fed. Savings Bank, No 11-4040, slip op. (6th Cir. Sep. 27, 2012). After experiencing credit problems caused by his ex-wife’s failure to make payments on a car she purchased during their marriage by signing both of their names to a check, the plaintiff wrote to several consumer reporting agencies to dispute his responsibility for the loan in light of the forgery, as well as the parties’ separation and divorce agreements that stated the ex-wife would be responsible for the car payments. The plaintiff alleges that the reporting agencies notified the bank of the dispute, which the bank refused to investigate without a police report or fraud affidavit from the plaintiff, as required by the bank’s fraud policy. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the bank, holding that the bank reasonably investigated the notices it received from credit reporting agencies, and that the plaintiff had ratified the debt. On appeal, the circuit court reversed and remanded the district court’s decision, holding that there is a genuine dispute of material fact with regard to the sufficiency of the bank’s investigation. The court added that the plaintiff’s failure to comply with the bank’s fraud policy does not alter its finding of a genuine dispute of material fact, holding that FCRA does not permit the bank to require independent confirmation of the reporting agencies’ notices before conducting an investigation. The court also held that the dispute over ratification requires resolution by a trier of fact given the ambiguity of the separation agreement, among other issue


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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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