In Hogue v. Allied Collection Service, Inc., 2018 WL 771321, at *4–5 (D.Nev., 2018), the District Court granted summary judgment to an auto finance company who was sued for the way that it reported, and then reinvestigated, an automobile account after a debtor filed Chapter 13.
Silver State argues that it is undisputed that plaintiff’s auto account was delinquent on the months indicated by Silver State and that the car was voluntarily surrendered in March 2010. (ECF No. 43). Bankruptcy does not serve to rewrite history, but serves to prevent continued collection activities. See Abeyta v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 2:15-cv-02320-RCJ-NJK, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43602, at *7-8 (D. Nev. Mar. 30, 2016). The indicators in plaintiff’s payment history section that the Silver State auto account was once delinquent does not change the fact the account was discharged by the bankruptcy. In other words, the delinquency and voluntary surrender do not show plaintiff owes an ongoing obligation. The inclusion of this information is not materially misleading as plaintiff alleges. Accordingly, Silver State is under no obligation to remove this accurate information from its report. Further, Silver State argues, and the court is in agreement, that it is responsible only for the information it furnishes to a CRA, like Experian. 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-2(b)(1)(A); (ECF No. 50). Once that information has been accurately furnished, Silver State has fulfilled its obligation under § 1681s-2(b)(1)(A). Silver State is not responsible, or liable, for what Experian reports. As to the delinquent account balances alleged by plaintiff, Silver State contends that it is undisputed that it reported a balance of $0 on the ACDV for the auto account sent to Experian. (ECF No. 50). In addition, plaintiff failed to dispute the account balances in his original dispute or the subsequent dispute letter. Id. § 1681s-2(b) requires notification of a dispute in order to trigger a duty on the part of the furnisher to investigate. See Peasley v. Verizon Wireless LLC, 354 F.Supp.2d 1198, 1200 (S.D. Cal. 2005). Accordingly, Silver State was under no obligation to investigate or correct any purported errors regarding its furnishing of account balance information. An impartial reading of the facts does not indicate Silver State’s investigation in response to plaintiff’s dispute was at all unreasonable or negligently conducted. Silver State met its obligations under 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681s-2(b)(1)(A)-(E).
The District Court also held that the debtor had no damages — general or special — because his consumer report was never provided to a potential grantor of credit.
Plaintiff also alleges emotional damages resulting from Experian’s reporting of Silver State’s auto account. Plaintiff claim’s damages for emotional distress based on Experian’s reporting of Silver State’s auto accounts because (1) plaintiff could not place his name alongside his wife’s when purchasing their home for fear of denial, (2) the debt has been re-aged due to Silver State’s furnishing of information, (3) plaintiff may be denied a security clearance due to negative credit history, and (4) exacerbation of a pervious medical conditions and stress. Silver State contends that plaintiff presents no evidence that any third-party ever saw the disputed information found in the dispute results report. (ECF No. 57). As established in Wantz, the basis for liability under FCRA is whether a third-party sees a consumer report and makes a credit decision based on that report. Wantz v. Experian Info. Sols., 386 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir. 2004). The court in Wantz found the purpose of the FCRA was to protect parties against negative credit decisions relating to what appears on a consumer report. Id. In Wantz, the court found the plaintiff could not bring a claim for emotion distress based solely on the unilateral communication from a CRA to the consumer, unless a third-party also saw the consumer report and then made an adverse decision based on that report. Id. Here, as in Wantz, plaintiff has failed to show Experian disclosed the disputed credit information to a third party. The disputed, negative information at issue here was not published in a consumer report, viewable be third parties. Further, no third parties made an adverse credit decision as to plaintiff based on this disputed information. As Silver State accurately states, “plaintiff’s emotional distress stems from his misconceptions regarding his consumer disclosures, not any actual damages caused by a third party who saw incorrect information.” (ECF No. 57). Accordingly, plaintiff’s claim for emotional distress fails. Experian stopped reporting on the Silver State auto account in January of 2016, seven years after the initial delinquency date. Nothing Silver State reported, accurate or not, affected the date on which Experian stopped negatively reporting Silver State’s auto account. Accordingly, by the time plaintiff’s wife applied for credit and purchased the family home (September 2016) and by the time plaintiff’s security clearance was up for review (in 2017), Experian was no longer reporting on the Silver State auto account. Plaintiff also fails to provide any medical evidence of physical or emotional damages. Accordingly, plaintiff has not provided any ground upon which the court could award damages. Further, plaintiff provides no evidence as to his out-of-pocket expenses, but instead offers hypothetical future damages that may occur. Such theoretical and potential damages are not the basis for liability under FCRA. See Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (citing Lujan v. Defs. Of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). While plaintiff alleges numerous instances of improper conduct on the part of Silver State, plaintiff fails to demonstrate how this conduct resulted in actual and tangible loss of credit or emotional harm. Accordingly, the court will grant summary judgment in favor of Silver State as to plaintiff’s damages claims.