Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PATTERSON v. ASSET ACCEPTANCE CORP.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division


July 21, 2004.

SAMANTHA PATTERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
ASSET ACCEPTANCE CORP., Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES MORAN, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Samantha Patterson brought this pro se action against Asset Acceptance Corporation (Asset Acceptance) for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. Along with her complaint plaintiff filed a petition to proceed in forma pauperis.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) we may authorize plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis if she demonstrates an inability to pay the required costs and fees. In her financial affidavit plaintiff states that she is currently unemployed, has no assets, and receives only $275 a month to support herself and her two children. Plaintiff has evidenced her financial need.

  Our inquiry does not end there, however. As part of the initial review of a petition to proceed in forma pauperis we analyze the claims and dismiss the complaint if we determine that the action is frivolous or malicious, it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks damages from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii); Alston v. Debruyn, 13 F.3d 1036, 1039 (7th Cir. 1994). For purposes of this decision we take petitioner's allegations as true. See Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 571 (7th Cir. 2000). Plaintiff alleges that Asset Acceptance informed credit reporting agencies that she owed the collection company for debts related to two accounts, SBCILLIN1484 and SBCINDIA14079620 (presumably two SBC accounts in Illinois and Indiana), without verifying the accuracy of the underlying debts. After learning of these blemishes on her credit reports, plaintiff sent Asset Acceptance a letter dated May 19, 2004, disputing the debts and requesting verification of the overdue accounts. Plaintiff claims that she has not received any verification, and presumably Asset Acceptance has not had the credit reporting agencies remove the information from plaintiff's credit report.

  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act seeks to protect consumers from abusive means of collecting debts. 15 U.S.C. § 1692(e). Under § 1692g(b), if a consumer disputes a debt in writing within thirty days of being informed of the debt, a debt collector must cease all efforts of collection until the collector receives verification of the debt, a copy of the judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and mails that information to the consumer. Debt collectors are liable to consumers for violations of this statute for any actual damages and other damages up to $1,000. 15 U.S.C. § 1692k. Given the allegation in plaintiff's pro se complaint we do not find that her action is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a claim under this act.

  Plaintiff has not stated a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, however. The purpose of the Fair Credit Reporting Act is to require that "consumer reporting agencies adopt reasonable procedures" to provide the credit industry with information, while treating consumers fairly and equitably. 15 U.S.C. § 1681(b). A consumer reporting agency is any person or entity that assembles and evaluates credit information on consumers to provide to third parties. 15 U.S.C. § 1681a(f). Asset Acceptance is not alleged to be a consumer reporting agency. It is a debt collection company that has provided information to a consumer reporting agency. A company that furnishes information to a consumer reporting agency is not liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and thus, plaintiff fails to state a claim against Asset Acceptance under this statute. See Rush v. Macy's New York, Inc., 775 F.2d 1554, 1557 (11th Cir. 1985); Batchelor v. First National Bank of Blue Island, 1993 WL 22859 at *3 (N.D. Ill. 1993).

  CONCLUSION

  For the foregoing reasons, plaintiff's petition to proceed in forma pauperis is granted as to her Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims and dismissed as to her Fair Credit Reporting Act claims.

20040721

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.