In Pintos v. Pacific Creditor’s Association, Inc. — F.3d —-, 2009 WL 1151800 (9th Cir. 2009), the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit addressed whether a creditor of towing debt had a permissible purpose under FCRA to pull a credit report on the debtor.  The Court of Appeals held that the creditor did not, explaining:


To qualify under § 1681b(a), the “credit transaction” must both (1) be “a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished” and (2) involve “the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer.” Concluding that the transaction here involved the “collection of an account,” the district court held that the statute authorized PCA to obtain Pintos’s credit report. But the district court did not address whether the transaction was “a credit transaction involving” Pintos. That may have been because Hasbun did not separately discuss that requirement, but our court has discussed it in other cases and it is clearly set out in the statute.     . . . Here, Pintos did not participate in seeking credit from the towing company. She owned the car that was towed, so she was not as completely distant from the transaction as the victim of identity theft in Andrews, but neither was she a participant in the typical transaction where an extension of credit is requested. She had no contact with P & S or PCA until P & S towed her car. She never asked to have the vehicle towed; P & S simply towed the car by direction of the police then tried to collect the charges. Pintos did not initiate the transaction that resulted in PCA requesting her credit report. As the Seventh Circuit held in Stergiopoulos v. First Mid-west Bancorp, Inc., 427 F.3d 1043, 1047 (7th Cir.2005), § 1681b(a)(3)(A) can be relied upon by the party requesting a credit report “only if the consumer initiates the transaction.”