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Month: June 2017


TILA, RESPA and FCRA . . . Oh my!

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Cole v. Federal National Mortgage Association, et al., 2017 WL 623465 (D. Md. February 13, 2017) The Plaintiff, Ms. Cole, brought a case against Fannie Mae and Severus alleging a number of claims under the Truth in Lending Act(TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act(RESPA), the Maryland Consumer Debt Collection Act(MCDCA), the Maryland Consumer Protection Act(MCPA), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA). Unlike most pro se Plaintiffs, who generally strike out when throwing a bunch of these claims against the wall, Ms. Cole hits a home run on every one and it is impressive to see. In 2007, the Plaintiff and her late husband obtained a mortgage loan on the property from a non-party, Bank of America. Mr. Cole passed away in 2013 and Ms. Cole became the sole mortgagor of the property. Severus declared the loan in default in February of 2014 and mailed Ms. Cole a Notice of…Read More

Sovereign immunity applies to claims against the Government . . . Sometimes

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Robinson v. Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, et al. 2017 WL 1277429 (D. Md. April 3, 2017) Plaintiff alleged that government student loans were fraudulently opened in his name and that he had only permitted Direct Loan to perform a credit check, not to open a loan account in his name. The parties dispute whether or not a “government or governmental subdivision or agency” in the definition of “person” includes the Department of Education, which is a federal agency. Under the doctrine of “sovereign immunities,” the United States is shielded from suit absent consent to be sued that is “unequivocally expressed.” United States v. Bormes, 133 S.Ct. 12, 16 (2012). A waiver of sovereign immunity cannot be implied and all ambiguities are resolved in favor of the Government. To date, neither the Supreme Court nor the Fourth Circuit has squarely ruled upon whether the FCRA waives sovereign immunity though the…Read More

Previous case establishing not inaccurate reporting by furnisher bars claim against CRA

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Alston v. TransUnion, LLC, 2017 WL 1628420 (D. Md. April 27, 2017) The Plaintiff, acting pro se, alleges that the CRA’s violated two provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681e(b) and 15 U.S.C. 1681i(a)(1). The Plaintiff alleges that the CRA’s erroneously relied on the bare, unsupported statements of the furnisher to report that the Plaintiff’s account was delinquent and continued to rely solely on the reporting by the furnisher, in this case, Wells Fargo. The court, citing Dalton v. Capital Assoc. Indus., Inc., 257 F.3d 409 (4th Cir. 2001), pointed out that the Fourth Circuit has interpreted Section 1681e to include an inaccuracy requirement, such that in order to establish a violation of Section 1681e, a plaintiff must show both (1) the consumer report contained in accurate information and (2) the reporting agency did not follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy. Additionally, the Court noted…Read More

Claim Against Furnisher Fails Unless dispute made

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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…Read More