Attorneys, when you file a complaint under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), be sure that you can make the following allegations in good faith:
a. Your client posited its consumer dispute with the credit reporting agency (and not just the creditor/furnisher directly). You or your client’s failure to notify the credit reporting agency of your client’s dispute is fatal to your FCRA claim. You see, under the statute, a credit reporting agency’s duty to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation does not begin until it receives notice of the dispute. Notifying the furnisher of the dispute is insufficient to trigger any duty to conduct a reasonable reinvestigation by the credit reporting agency.
b. Be sure to plead that that the credit reporting agency notified the furnisher of your dispute. If you are uncertain as to whether this happened, look for facts that would support a good faith believe to allege that this happened “upon information and belief.”
Under the FCRA, a furnisher’s duty to conduct its reinvestigation is not triggered until the credit reporting agency notifies it of your client’s dispute. Some courts do not require this to be pled in the complaint, but yet, some courts do. For example, Judge Avern Cohen who sits in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan requires this allegation in FCRA complaints. I just finished reading an opinion in which he dismissed the Plaintiff’s complaint for failing to allege that the credit reporting agency notified the furnisher. I have a world of respect for Judge Cohen and his opinions. I can safely say that he is an incredibly intelligent man and history will undoubtedly remember him as an excellent jurist. BUT……if you are going to file an FCRA complaint in the Eastern District of Michigan and your case is assigned to Judge Cohen, be sure that you follow my advice.
If you have been harassed or bullied by a debt collector, or if your credit report is inaccurate and the credit reporting agency will not fix it, email Attorney Gary Nitzkin or call toll free (888) 293-2882. For more information about our firm, visit our website, Michigan Consumer Credit Lawyers. We have a lot of good information including short “how to” videos that you will find useful.