Thursday, June 02, 2005

Seventh Circuit: Creditors Do Not Have to Contact Individuals Under FCRA

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has found that the FCRA does not require a creditor to contact an individual who disputes information which the creditor has reported to a credit reporting agency.

The court held that a credit union's failure to contact an individual, who disputed information they reported to a credit reporting agency, and who claimed he was a victim of identity theft, was reasonable under FCRA. This was the case even though the plaintiff has provided information providing evidence of identity theft to the credit reporting agency, Trans Union. Trans Union did provide this information to the creditor, apparently.

The plaintiff alleged, under FCRA, that the defendant, a credit union, failed to conduct a reasonable investigation of fraudulent activity on a credit report. The plaintiff was appealing a ruling of summary judgment against him.

It is important to note that the court specifically stated that the efforts of the credit union were reasonable given the "scant information" provided to it by Trans Union.

While contacting the plaintiff "would have undoubtedly helped matters in this case," the court wrote, requiring creditors to contact every single individual who disputes a charge would be "terribly inefficient," and is not required by the FCRA.

See: Westra v. Credit Control of Pinellas, No. 04-3139 (7th Circuit, May 27, 2005)


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10:56 AM  

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