In Giovanni v. Bank of America, Nat. Ass’n 2012 WL 6599681 (N.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Beeler found that a FCRA Plaintiff failed to plead an inaccuracy in its reporting of a consumer’s account that went through bankruptcy. The facts were as follows:
Plaintiff, Katheryn Giovanni currently resides in Chatham County, Georgia, but lived in California during the relevant times in the complaint. First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), ECF No. 18, ¶¶ 3, 6.FN2 Defendant, Bank of America, N.A. is a national bank based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Id. ¶ 7. FN2. Citations are to the Electronic Case File (“ECF”) with pin cites to the electroni-cally-generated page numbers at the top of the document. On September 30, 2010, Giovanni filed a volun-tary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition (the “Petition”) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon. Id. ¶ 12. Schedule F of the Petition listed an unsecured debt of $5,500.00 in BOA’s favor. Id. ¶ 13. On January 5, 2011, Giovanni’s dischargeable debts were discharged pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727. Id. ¶ 14. BOA was notified of the discharge the next day. Id. Plaintiff alleges that she never re-affirmed BOA’s debt during bankruptcy so that her debts to BOA were also discharged. Id. On or about August 24, 2011, Plaintiff received a “Service 1st Credit Report,” which she explains is a compilation of reporting information from Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, the three credit reporting agencies (“CRAs”). Id. ¶ 15. The report indicated that BOA reported overdue payments on Giovanni’s credit account to the credit reporting agencies each month from the time she filed for bankruptcy until the Janu-ary 2011 discharge date. Id. ¶ 15. Giovanni claims that BOA furnished the CRAs with inaccurate information. Id. ¶ 18. She explains that the overdue payment information suggested that her account was still collectable when it was really closed and the bankruptcy discharge had retroactively removed her legal obligation to pay BOA from the date she filed for bankruptcy. Id. ¶ 18. On or about September 24, 2011, Giovanni sent written notices to the CRAs disputing BOA’s reports and requesting “a formal, full, and complete” investi-gation of her account. Id. ¶¶ 10, 16. Giovanni claimed that BOA had inaccurately reported delinquent pay-ments on her inactive credit account “throughout the pendency of [her] bankruptcy petition.” Id. All three CRAs notified BOA of Giovanni’s dispute, as re-quired by the section 1681i(a)(2) of the FCRA. Id. ¶ 24. On or about October 7, 2011, Giovanni received and apparently examined her Experian and Transun-ion credit reports. Id. ¶ 17. She alleges that BOA had ceased reporting negative information about her to Transunion but continued to tell Experian that her account was “open and delinquent from the time [she] filed for bankruptcy until entry of the discharge order.” Id. BOA also failed to report to Experian that she disputed the account information. Id. At the time the FAC was filed, BOA still refused to correct Gio-vanni’s Experian credit report.
Judge Beeler found that the plaintiff failed to report an inaccuracy under FCRA, and followed the Mortimer decision.
Giovanni does not claim that she made these payments. Instead, she makes several arguments that it was inaccurate or misleading for BOA to report her failure to pay and that BOA failed to correct the record. The court addresses each in turn. Giovanni first argues that federal bankruptcy laws barred BOA from reporting negative credit in-formation once she filed her bankruptcy petition, so BOA’s report was inaccurate and misleading. Opp’n, ECF No. 25 at 12. When a person files for bank-ruptcy, 11 U.S .C. § 362(a) imposes an automatic stay on collection activities. Giovanni argues that BOA’s reporting late payments on her debts is a “prohibited creditor shenanigan.” Opp’n, ECF No. 25 at 12 (quoting In re Sommersdorf, 139 B.R. 700, 702 (Bankr.S.D.Ohio 1992)). In re Sommersdorf, how-ever, does not stand for the proposition suggested. There, the co-signor of a car loan sued the bank for falsely reporting that it had “charged off” the debt when the primary borrowers had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and worked out a plan to repay the loan in full. Sommersdorf, 138 B.R. at 700–02. BOA persuasively counters that courts in this district have repeatedly rejected this proposition. For example, in Mortimer v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, National Association, Judge Wilken considered nearly identical allegations FN4 and granted the bank’s motion to dismiss. No. C 12–1936 CW, 2012 WL 3155563 (N.D.Cal. Aug.2, 2012). There, Mortimer accused Chase of violating the FCRA, CCRAA, and UCL “by reporting overdue payments for two months after he filed for bankruptcy but before his debts had been discharged.” Id. at *2. Mortimer did not dispute the fact of the overdue payments but claimed that by reporting the information, Chase vio-lated the automatic stay imposed by 11 U.S.C. § 362. Id. at *2–3. The court rejected this argument, stating “Section 362 does not stand for the proposition that an individual is not obliged to make timely payments on his accounts while his petition for bankruptcy is pending. Rather, § 362 limits collection activities in pursuit of claims that arose before the bankruptcy petition.” Id. at *3. Because Mortimer’s allegation did not claim that the report was inaccurate or mislead-ing, the court dismissed his FCRA claim. Other courts have reached the same holding. See Harrold v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., No. C 12–02987 WHA, 2012 WL 4097708, at *4 (“reports of delinquencies in payment while bankruptcy proceed-ings are still ongoing is not ‘incomplete or inaccu-rate’ information”) (quoting Mortimer, 2012 WL 3155563, at *3–4). FN4. Mortimer was represented by the same counsel as Giovanni and the complaint seems to have been substantially similar to Giovanni’s. *6 Giovanni does not substantively distinguish the reasoning in Mortimer or Harrold, see Opp’n, ECF No. 25 at 11 n. 16, and cites no cases in which a court found the conduct at issue to violate the auto-matic bankruptcy stay. Regardless, the court finds Mortimer persuasive on this issue and factually indis-tinguishable. Based on the facts alleged, the court finds that BOA reported accurate information.