In Rydholm v. Equifax Info. Servs. LLC, No. 20-3425, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 22691, at *5-7 (8th Cir. Aug. 16, 2022), the Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit held that the FCRA’s standards applicable to the CRAs are not strict liability.
“CRAs must look beyond information furnished to them when it is inconsistent with [their] own records, contains a facial inaccuracy, or comes from an unreliable source.” Wright v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 805 F.3d 1232, 1239 (10th Cir. 2015) (collecting cases). Here, Rydholm’s complaint presents a bare legal conclusion that Experian and Trans Union employed unreasonable reporting procedures. There are no allegations that the CRAs knew or should have known about systemic problems. For example, Rydholm never directly contested the continued reporting of his credit card balance with either Experian or Trans Union. And he does not assert that Wells Fargo lacked reliability as a source. Nor was the reported account balance facially inaccurate or inconsistent with preexisting records. Though both CRAs had notice of Rydholm’s general discharge, that fact alone is insufficient to trigger a duty to investigate. The bankruptcy code provides numerous exceptions to discharge, 11 U.S.C. § 523, and even authorizes a debtor to reaffirm certain obligations afterwards, id. § 524(c). See In re Mitchell, 418 B.R. 282, 285 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2009) (observing that “[a] debtor’s chapter 7 discharge discharges most, but not all, of [his] debts”). Absent notice that the discharge specifically included the *1765 account, neither CRA had information contrary to what Wells Fargo reported to them. The practical effect of finding a § 1681e(b) violation here would be to require CRAs to wade into individual bankruptcy dockets to discern whether a debt survived discharge. Consumers file hundreds of thousands of Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions every year. Just the Facts: Consumer Bankruptcy Filings, 2006-2017, U.S. Courts, https://www.uscourts.gov/news/2018/03/07/just-facts-consumer-bankruptcy-filings – 2006-2017 (last visited July 5, 2022). We join our sister circuits in rejecting the invitation to mandate that CRAs hire individuals with legal training to preemptively determine the validity of reported debts. See Wright, 805 F.3d at 1241; Childress v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 790 F.3d 745, 747 (7th Cir. 2015). Simply put, “the cost of verifying the accuracy of the source” outweighs “the possible harm inaccurately reported information may cause” a consumer. Henson v. CSC Credit Servs., 29 F.3d 280, 287 (7th Cir. 1994). The FCRA requires reasonable—not perfect—procedures. That Rydholm’s credit reports may have “contained inaccurate information is not in itself sufficient for the imposition of liability.” Hauser, 602 F.2d at 814.