In Fredrickson v. Cannon Federal Credit Union, 2017 WL 6558578, at *4 (D.N.M., 2017), Judge Brack granted summary judgment to a furnisher who allegedly failed to report a consumer’s dispute as “disputed” because, Judge Brack said, the dispute was meritless.
Furnishers can breach their § 1681s–2(b) duties if they fail to report the existence of a dispute because such an omission may create a misimpression about the consumer’s creditworthiness. See Llewellyn, 711 F.3d at 1186–87 (emphasis added). However, § 1681s–2(b) does not require a furnisher to report every dispute to CRAs, only disputes that actually have merit. See Sartori v. Susan C. Little & Assocs., P.A., 571 F. App’x 677, 682 (10th Cir. 2014) (“Although some courts have held that a furnisher of information violates § 1681s–2(b) if it fails to identify that a consumer disputes the information, the dispute must be ‘bona fide,’ i.e., one ‘that could materially alter how the reported debt is understood.’ ”) (quoting Gorman v. Wolpoff & Ambramson, LLP, 584 F.3d 1147, 1163 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal citation omitted)). Thus, a jury cannot properly find that a furnisher violated § 1681s–2(b) by not reporting a dispute if the dispute is meritless as a matter of law. . . .Cannon’s investigation into Mr. Fredrickson’s debt was reasonable. Since neither the 2014 Note nor the 2015 Note released Mr. Fredrickson from the Cannon debt, his dispute is meritless, and Cannon could have complied with § 1681s–2(b) even without reporting Mr. Fredrickson’s dispute to the CRAs. If Cannon did not have to report even the existence of Mr. Fredrickson’s meritless dispute to the CRAs under § 1681s–2(b), then, contrary to Mr. Fredrickson’s belief, Cannon certainly did not have to report details of the dispute. (See Doc. 102 at 20.) Cannon’s reporting was accurate and complete. Cannon did not breach any of its § 1681s–2(b) duties, so summary judgment against Mr. Fredrickson on his § 1681s–2(b) claim is appropriate.