In Hernandez v. Certified Fed. Credit Union, No. CV 18-10448-CJC (JEMx), 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79020, at *6-9 (C.D. Cal. May 9, 2019), Judge Carney allowed an FCRA claim to proceed despite a challenge to Plaintiff’s Article III standing.
Plaintiffs have alleged a sufficiently “concrete and [*7] particularized” injury. Under the FCRA and CCCRAA, a credit report or credit information is inaccurate where it is “patently incorrect or materially misleading.” Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 629 F.3d 876, 890-91 (9th Cir. 2010). Plaintiffs assert that Clearpath inaccurately reported balances owed on accounts that were closed and paid off in 2004 and 2016. This created the false impression that Plaintiffs were required to make payments years after the accounts had been closed. Such “inaccurate reporting of debt constitutes the precise harm Congress sought to protect against in enacting the FCRA.” Mamisay v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 2017 WL 1065170, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2017). Accepting Plaintiffs’ allegations as true, they have stated more than “bare procedural violations.” See Artus v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 2017 WL 346022, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2017) (finding that plaintiffs have shown injury in fact under Spokeo when they alleged FCRA violations for inaccurate reporting). They have alleged that Clearpath’s inaccurate reporting adversely affected their creditworthiness and interfered with their ability to secure credit. Clearpath next argues that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that its reporting caused Plaintiffs’ injury. To establish causation, a plaintiff must show that the injury alleged is “fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant, and not the result of the independent action of some third party not before the court.” Salmon Spawning & Recovery All. v. Gutierrez, 545 F.3d 1220, 1227 (9th Cir. 2008). “Although the ‘traceability’ of a plaintiff’s harm to the defendant’s actions need not rise to the level of proximate causation, Article III does require proof of a substantial likelihood that the defendant’s conduct caused plaintiff’s injury in fact.” Habecker v. Town of Estes Park, 518 F.3d 1217, 1225 (10th Cir. 2008) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Clearpath claims that the harm Plaintiffs’ 2012 bankruptcy caused to their financial reputation overshadowed any possible harm from its inaccurate reporting. According to Clearpath, Plaintiffs thus cannot plausibly allege that their injury was “fairly traceable” to Clearpath’s conduct. Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that their purported harm is “fairly traceable” to Clearpath’s allegedly inaccurate reporting. Plaintiffs claim that Clearpath failed to reasonably investigate their dispute and failed to correct inaccuracies in its reporting in violation of the FCRA and CCCRAA. Those inaccuracies purportedly adversely impacted Plaintiffs’ creditworthiness and misled potential lenders about the nature of their outstanding obligations. The fact that Plaintiffs’ 2012 bankruptcy may have negatively impacted their creditworthiness does not [*9] mean Clearpath’s alleged conduct in 2018 did not also harm Plaintiffs’ financial reputation. Finally, Clearpath argues that Plaintiffs’ proposed relief will not redress their harm. According to Clearpath, even if it were to pay “some miniscule amount of damages,” that would not remedy the injury caused by Plaintiffs’ bankruptcy. (Mot. at 10.) Again, the Court disagrees. The injury alleged here is the harm to Plaintiffs’ creditworthiness caused by Clearpath’s purportedly inaccurate reporting—not Plaintiffs’ bankruptcy. The FCRA specifically provides that a plaintiff may recover damages for injury to reputation and creditworthiness caused by violations of its provisions. See Seungtae Kim v. BMW Fin. Servs. NA, LLC, 142 F. Supp. 3d 935, 944 (C.D. Cal. 2015); 15 U.S.C. § 1681o. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ injury would be redressed by a decision in their favor.