United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. Leinenweber, Judge
the Court is Defendant Experian Information Solutions,
Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss the Complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). [ECF No. 27]. For the reasons stated
herein, the Motion is denied.
following facts are contained in the Plaintiffs'
Complaints and attached exhibits. They are presumed true for
purposes of deciding the motion to dismiss. See, Forrest
v. Universal Sav. Bank, F.A., 507 F.3d 540, 542 (7th
and wife Alan and Carolyn Mary Handrock, Plaintiffs in this
consolidated case (hereinafter, “Plaintiffs” or
“Handrocks”), filed for bankruptcy on April 20,
2013. One of the debts involved in their bankruptcy was a
mortgage loan secured by the couples' residence.
Defendant Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC (“Ocwen”)
serviced the loan, while Defendant Experian Information
Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”), a credit reporting
agency, maintained and reported information on the loan as
part of Plaintiffs' credit history. In their bankruptcy
plan, Plaintiffs proposed to surrender the residence and
thereby extinguish Ocwen's claim against them. The
Bankruptcy Court confirmed the Plaintiffs' plan on June
months later, on May 28, 2014, the court entered an Order of
Discharge in Plaintiffs' case. Plaintiffs thereafter sent
credit dispute letters to Experian. They requested that
Experian update their credit files to reflect that their
debts had been discharged through bankruptcy and to report a
zero current balance on those debts.
responding to the letters, Experian generated and mailed to
Plaintiffs a report that is one of three reports underlying
Plaintiffs' claim in this case. The report showed that
the Ocwen account has a balance of $0.00 as of June 2014,
that the status of the account was “Discharged through
Bankruptcy Chapter 7, ” and that the Account History
stated “Debt included in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on May
28, 2014.” See, Alan Handrock v. Ocwen, 16 C
5732, ECF No. 1 (“Compl.”), Ex.
I (“First Report”). However, the month-by-month
Account History showed a scheduled payment amount of $1,
525.00 for each of the months from April 2013 to April 2014,
or the period from when Plaintiffs first filed for bankruptcy
to the month before the Discharge Order was entered. The
Payment History section also showed the number 180 under each
month from September 2013 to April 2014, presumably
reflecting that the account was more than 180 days overdue
during this time.
claim that the report was inaccurate. According to
Plaintiffs, the Ocwen account should have reported “the
status of the subject loan without a negative payment history
for the months following Plaintiff's bankruptcy
filing.” Compl. ¶ 33. This is because “Ocwen
could no[t] collect payments for the subject loan after
Plaintiff's bankruptcy filing in April 2013.”
Id. Furthermore, “Plaintiff no longer had any
personal liability for the balance of the subject loan”
after his and his wife's bankruptcy plan was confirmed on
June 28, 2013. Id.
six months later, the Plaintiffs sent Experian yet another
pair of dispute letters, this time specifically disputing the
accuracy of the Ocwen account. Experian mailed them back an
updated report. This report contained the same scheduled
payment and 180 days past due information on the Ocwen
account as did the First Report. See, ECF No. 1, Ex.
K (“Second Report”).
Handrock (“Alan”) obtained a copy of his personal
credit report on February 15, 2016. See, Ex. L
(“Third Report”). This report contained two
tradelines for the same Ocwen loan, one of which Plaintiffs
say is correct. The second tradeline, however, reported a
recent balance of $192, 392.00 and a monthly payment of $1,
526.00. See, Compl. ¶¶ 43, 44 and Ex. L.
It also reported a past due amount of $66, 120.00 as of
December 2015, more than a year after Plaintiffs'
bankruptcy discharge, and a notation of “180 days past
due as of Dec. 2015, Nov. 2015.” Id. Alan
alleges that this credit report is inaccurate and that around
March 10, 2016, he was “denied credit as a result of
the inaccurate credit reporting.” Carolyn Handrock
(“Carolyn”) makes a similar complaint. Like Alan,
Carolyn alleges that she was denied credit, although in her
case this was a denial of a Capital One credit card around
October 26, 2014.
bring this lawsuit against both Experian and Ocwen, claiming
that the Defendants have violated the Fair Credit Reporting
Act (“FCRA”). Plaintiffs seek actual damages to
compensate them for “loss of credit, increase in the
price of credit, out-of-pocket expenses associated with
writing dispute letters, sending certified mail, time meeting
with [their] attorneys and monitoring [their] credit file, as
well as mental and emotional pain and suffering.”
Compl. ¶ 49. Plaintiffs also pray for injunctive relief
alongside other forms of monetary compensation. Compl.
¶¶ 74, 97.
allege that Experian violated two separate sections of the
FCRA. The first, 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b), requires a
consumer reporting agency like Experian to “follow
reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible
accuracy” of the information it reports. This provision
is operative whenever a reporting agency “prepares a
consumer report.” In contrast, the second provision, 15
U.S.C. § 1681i, is relevant only during
“reinvestigations”; it provides steps that a
reporting agency must take after a consumer notifies
the agency that he is disputing “the completeness or
accuracy of an item of information” contained in the
consumer's credit file. See, 15 U.S.C. §
1681i(a)(1)(A) and 15 U.S.C. § 1681i generally.
argues that Plaintiffs' Complaint fails because
Plaintiffs have not pled the existence of (1) an actionable
inaccuracy on a consumer credit report; (2) a consumer credit
report; or (3) actual ...