Claim Against Furnisher Fails Unless dispute made

Flax v. Navient Solutions, Inc., 2017 WL 1153889 (March 28, 2017 D. MD.) Judge Marvin J. Garbis

Plaintiff checked his credit report and learned that his father had taken out three separate loans from Navient Solutions, Inc. In his name, without knowledge or consent of the Plaintiff by forging his signature.

Included in the Plaintiffs Complaint was a Count for violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 1681s-2(b). Under this section, those who furnish information to the credit reporting agencies have a responsibility to investigate the accuracy of reported information upon notice of a dispute. The Court cites the 4th Circuit opinion in Johnson v. MBNA Am. Bank, NA, 357 F.3d 426, 431 (4th Cir. 2004), which held that 1681s-2(b)(1) requires creditors, after receiving notice of a consumer dispute from a credit reporting agency, to conduct a reasonable investigation of their records to determine whether the disputed information can be verified. (Emphasis added).

Then, after receiving the dispute, the Furnisher must (1) “conduct an investigation with respect to the disputed information,” (2) “review all relevant information provided by the consumer reporting agency,” (3) “report the results of the investigation to the consumer reporting agency,” and (4) “if the investigation finds that the information is incomplete or inaccurate, report those results to all other consumer reporting agencies to which the person furnished the information that complies and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis.” 15 U.S.C. 1681s-2(b)(1)(A-D).

In this case, the Plaintiff did not dispute the inaccurate reporting with the consumer reporting agencies, he disputed the reporting directly with the furnisher, Navient.

However, Navient’s duty to investigate was not triggered by a notice from a credit reporting agency, therefore, the Plaintiff’s FCRA claim fails.