Burrell v. DFS Services, LLC
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
753 F. Supp. 2d 438 (2010)
Robert Burrell (plaintiff) was a victim of identity theft. Between April 2008 and June 2009, the thief charged $10,000 on Burrell’s credit card administered by DFS Services, LLC (Discover) (defendant) and incurred $1,000 worth of charges under Burrell’s identity from Helio, LLC (defendant). After discovering the identity theft, Burrell disputed the charges by submitting written complaints to both Discover and Helio. Despite Burrell’s disputes, Discover and Helio sent information to credit-reporting agencies indicating that Burrell was delinquent on his bills. In March 2010, Burrell filed a complaint with the three major credit-reporting agencies disputing the debts incurred by the theft. In May 2010, Burrell filed a lawsuit in federal court against Discover and Helio, arguing that the companies violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by reporting that he was delinquent on bills that the companies should have known were fraudulent. Specifically, Burrell claimed that Discover and Helio violated 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681s-2(a) and 1681s-2(b) by failing to ensure the accuracy of information they sent to the credit-reporting agencies and by failing to investigate and correct inaccurate information previously sent. Discover and Helio moved to dismiss Burrell’s claims, arguing that Burrell had no private right of action under § 1681s-2(a). Further, Discover and Helio argued that Burrell failed to fulfill procedural requirements imposed by § 1681s-2(b), which requires a consumer to file a complaint with a credit-reporting agency before filing a lawsuit against the creditor that failed to investigate or correct inaccurate information.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Debevoise, J.)
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