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Consumer Protection – Credit Report Use – FRCA

Applying Twombly and Iqbal, a Richmond U.S. District Court dismisses a plaintiff’s complaint that defendant Equity One violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by illegally accessing plaintiff’s credit reports.
According to the complaint, the inadequate data matching and public record gathering procedures of the crediting reporting agencies allowed Equity One to illegally access plaintiff’s credit reports without either his consent or a permissible purpose, as defined by 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(f). Plaintiff claims that Equity One’s conduct was willful and caused him to suffer actual and punitive damages.

The court finds that plaintiff fails to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. He alleges that Equity One violated the FCRA, 15 U.S.C. § 1581b(f), by using or obtaining his consumer report without consent or a permissible purpose. He claims he suffered actual damages. These allegations are mere legal conclusions and a recitation of the elements of § 1681b(f). Such hollow language fails to offer any factual basis, much less a plausible one, to support liability on Equity One’s part.

Although plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a More Definite Statement, this method of bolstering one’s complaint is inappropriate. The proper vehicle to supplement a complaint is to seek leave to file a motion to amend along with an amended version of the complaint.

Edwards v. Equifax Information Services LLC (Hudson, J.) No. 3:09cv622, Dec. 24, 2009; USDC at Richmond, Va. VLW 010-3-001, 5 pp.

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