The opinion of the court was delivered by: MATHEW KENNELLY, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Sonnja Molton sued Experian Information Solutions, Inc., CBC Credit
Services, First National Bank of Marin ("FNBM"), and Marlin Integrated,
claiming violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"),
15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Molton settled her claims against CBC Credit
Services, FNBM and Marlin Integrated, and they were dismissed from the
case on May 29, 2003. The remaining defendant, Experian, a credit
reporting company, has moved for summary judgment on the ground that it
did not report any inaccurate information about Molton's credit status.
For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Experian's motion.
The facts relevant to resolving this case are not in dispute. Molton
has admitted most of the
facts outlined by Experian in its Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement of
Material Facts, which we will summarize.*fn1 Molton held a credit card
issued by FNBM. Def.'s Facts ¶ 34. Molton's account became 30 days
past due in July 2000; 60 days past due in August 2000; 90 days past due
in September 2000; 120 days past due in October 2000; and 150 days past
due in November 2000. Id. ¶ 36. FNBM "charged off the
account on December 16, 2000 in the amount of $702.28. Id. ¶¶
35, 37. Molton owed the balance of $702.28 in full, and FNBM forwarded
the balance to Allied Interstate, a collection agency. Id. ¶¶
Molton called Experian on November 8, 2001 and requested a copy of her
credit file, which Experian sent to her that day. Id. ¶ 6.
Molton called Experian on December 10, 2001, saying that the FNBM account
was not hers. Id. ¶ 7. Experian sent a Consumer Dispute
Verification ("CDV") to FNBM describing Molton's claim as "Consumer
States: Not mine." Id. ¶ 8. On December 24, 2001, FNBM
verified that Molton was liable for the account and that the account's
status was correctly reported as charged-off in the amount of $702.28
after a lengthy delinquency. Id. ¶ 9. Experian claims*fn2
that it sent the results of its reinvestigation to Molton on January 2,
2002, within 30 days of Molton's request for an investigation.
Id. ¶ 10.
In April 2002, Molton paid Allied Interstate $351.50 on the FNBM
account. Id. ¶ 38. She called Experian on May 29, 2002 to
request another copy of her credit file, which Experian sent her that
day. Id. ¶ 11. Molton contacted Experian via the Internet on
July 10, 2002 and claimed that the FNBM account was paid. Id.
¶ 12. Experian sent a CDV to FNBM on July 10 describing Molton's
claim as "Consumer States: Status Disputed" and "Consumer Claims: Paid."
Id. ¶ 13. FNBM responded on July 25, 2002, asking Experian
to "(1) change the date of [Molton's] last payment to April 2002; (2)
reduce the `recent balance' amount from $702.28 to $350.78; and (3)
reduce the amount past due from $702 to $350." Id. ¶ 14. But
FNBM confirmed that Experian was correctly reporting the account as a
charge-off after a lengthy delinquency. Id. Experian updated the
account to reflect the changes requested by FNBM. Id. ¶¶
17-18. Experian claims*fn3 it sent Molton the results of its
reinvestigation on August 8, 2002, within thirty days of Molton's request
for an investigation. Id. ¶ 15. The correction summary sent
to Molton by Experian stated that the FNBM account was updated and that
Molton had a right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to have a consumer
dispute statement placed on her credit report if she disagreed with the
results of the reinvestigation. Id. ¶ 16. Molton never asked
for a consumer dispute statement to be added to her credit report.
Id. ¶ 31.
Molton applied in August 2002 for a residential mortgage of $73,742
with Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. Id. ¶ 44. Countrywide
denied the application on September 6, 2002, checking off three
reasons for the denial on a standard form: (1) "Garnishment,
attachment, foreclosure, collection or judgment repossession or suit";
(2) "Delinquent credit obligations (past or present); and (3)
"Insufficient income to support loan." Id. ¶ 47; Def.'s Ex.
W. Countrywide Home Loans relied on a credit report received from
Landsafe Credit. Id. ¶ 49; Def.'s Ex. W. The Landsafe Credit
Merge Report relied upon by Countrywide stated that Molton had several
collection accounts and delinquent credit obligations in addition to the
FNBM account. Id. ¶ 49.
Molton claims, and Experian admits, that she filled out one of
Experian's correction forms on September 23, 2002, and sent it to
Experian. Pl.'s Facts ¶ 3. With it she enclosed a letter from Allied
Interstate, dated April 30, 2002, stating: "the above referenced account
has been settled in full. Therefore, there remains no further outstanding
obligations pertaining to this account." Id.; Pl.'s Ex. A.
Molton also included a copy of the money order showing proof of a $351.50
payment by Molton to Allied Interstate. Id.; Pl.'s Ex. G.
Citibank denied Molton credit in a letter dated October 2, 2002. Def.'s
Facts ¶ 52. And Molton contacted Experian again, this time via the
Internet on October 9, 2002, to request a reinvestigation of the FNBM
account, again claiming that the account was paid. Id. ¶ 19.
That day, Experian sent a CDV to FNBM describing Molton's dispute as
"Consumer States: Consumer states inaccurate info. "ACCT PD TO ALLIED
INTERSTATE 04/04/02 PH 800-833-5313. VERIFY AND UPDATE." Id.
¶ 20. In her deposition, Molton stated that this summary of her
dispute was reasonable and told FNBM everything it needed to know about
the dispute. Id. ¶ 21. On October 22, 2002, FNBM advised
Experian that Molton's account had an outstanding charge-off balance of
$350.78. Id. ¶ 22. Experian sent a confirmation of the
results of its investigation to Molton on November 7, 2002, thirty days
after Molton requested the investigation. Id. ¶ 23.
However, on September 26, 2002, FNBM had sent Molton a letter in which
it agreed to update her account's status to "paid charge-off/less than
fall balance" within 90 days. Id. ¶ 24. Molton testified at
her deposition that this designation with the comment of "Account legally
paid in fall for less than fall balance" was what she had wanted.
Id. ¶ 25. Molton filed her complaint on November 5, 2002.
Id. ¶ 28. Molton's credit report reflected this agreed upon
status by December 3, 2003, which was within 90 days of FNBM's September
26, 2002 letter. Id. ¶ 27; Def.'s Ex. K. As a result of the
lawsuit, Experian sent another CDV to FNBM on December 6, 2002, saying
"CONS STATES ACCT HAS BEEN PAID IN FULL SINCE APRIL 2002." Id.
¶ 29. "FNBM responded on December 19, 2002 that the account was
correctly reported as `settled/charge-off' with a comment that the
`account legally paid in fall for less than fall balance.'" Id.
Summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if
any, show that 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."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The Court must look at the evidence "as a jury might,
construing the record in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and
avoiding the temptation to decide which party's version of the facts is
more likely true." Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 770 (7th Cir.
2003). The Court's "function is not to weigh the evidence but merely to
determine if `there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Bennett v.
Roberts, 295 F.3d 687, 694 (7th Cir. 2002) (citation omitted). To
avoid summary judgment, the nonmovant "must produce more than a scintilla
of evidence to support his position." Pugh v. City of Attica,
Indiana, 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir. 2001) (citation omitted).
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Molton claims that Experian violated two sections of the FCRA and
defamed her. Specifically, she claims Experian violated
15 U.S.C. § 1681i by (1) failing to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation
into her claims of inaccurate reporting; (2) failing to provide FNBM with
the letter Molton gave Experian from Allied Interstate saying Molton's
account had been settled in full; (3) failing to review the Allied
Interstate letter and proof of payment provided by Molton; (4) failing to
delete inaccurate information from Molton's file after completing its
reinvestigation; and (5) failing to note Molton's dispute in her credit
file. Compl. ¶ 22. She also claims Experian violated
15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) by "failing to employ and follow reasonable procedures
to assure maximum possible accuracy of [her] credit report, information and
file." Id. As a preliminary matter, the Court notes that because Molton
admitted that she "never requested that a consumer dispute statement be
added to her personal credit report," Def.'s Facts ¶ 31; Pl.'s Resp.
to Facts ¶ 31, she cannot claim that Experian violated § 1681i(c)
by failing to note Molton's dispute in her credit report. If a consumer
is not satisfied with the results of the requested reinvestigation, "the
consumer may file a brief statement setting forth the nature of the
dispute." 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(b). "Whenever a statement of dispute is
filed . . ...