In Harris v. Nissan-Infiniti, LT, 2018 WL 387397, at *1 (D.Nev., 2018), Judge Mahan dismissed an FCRA claim grounded in a furnisher’s reporting of an automobile account after Chapter 7 discharge. The facts were as follows:
On or about June 16, 2011, plaintiff filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (“bankruptcy”). (ECF No. 1 at 4). The bankruptcy court discharged plaintiff’s obligations on September 19, 2012. Id. Subsequent to the discharge, in an Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (“Experian”) report dated May 27, 2015, SLS reported an account “status” for plaintiff that included a “balloon payment” of $32,262, due in November of 2021. Id. at 6. Plaintiff disputed the reported information by notifying Experian, in writing, in accordance with 15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(2). Id. at 7. On or about September 21, 2015, plaintiff received notification from Experian that the account in question was “[u]pdated,” and that Experian had “completed processing of [her] dispute(s).” Id. Nonetheless, the challenged information was re-reported on plaintiff’s report. Id. at 8.
Judge Mahan found that the Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
SLS attacks plaintiff’s contention that the listed “balloon payment” of $32,262 violates the FCRA. Referencing the holding in Abeyta, SLS states that “it is not a violation of the FCRA to report historical information regarding a debt so long as the reporting is accurate. (ECF No. 13 at 4). SLS states that plaintiff’s only option would be to amend her complaint to allege either that (1) the provisions of debt in question did not include a balloon payment term, or (2) that SLS failed to report plaintiff’s debt as discharged. Id. at 5. The court agrees. Here, plaintiff alludes to the falsity of the SLS report, (ECF No. 1 at 8), but fails to reach the level of specificity necessary to defeat a motion for dismiss. See Abeyta, 2016 WL 1298109, at *2. Similarly, plaintiff does not assert that the “balloon payment” was never a term of the debt in question, or that SLS failed to indicate that the reported debt was “discharged” or otherwise reduced to a “zero balance.” Plaintiff mentions that SLS failed to successfully petition for, and obtain, a declaration alleging her debts as “non-dischargeable.” (ECF No. 1 at 4). If a plaintiff’s debts are non-dischargeable, a bankruptcy would have no effect on them, and a defendant’s report of said debts would be justified and valid. See 11 U.S.C § 523. However, in the absence of a “non-dischargeable” declaration, as is the case here, a plaintiff’s FCRA claim must allege the defendant failed to indicate that the debt was “discharged” or reduced to a “zero-balance.” See Abeyta, 2016 WL 1298109. Here, plaintiff only alleges, by reference, that SLS failed to adhere to established reporting standards requiring a debt discharged in bankruptcy to be reported with a notation of “ ‘discharged in bankruptcy’ and with a zero balance due,” but again fails to elevate her allegation with sufficient factual specificity. (ECF No. 1 at 5). Further, because plaintiff has failed to adequately plead that SLS provided inaccurate information, her claim that SLS violated the established Metro 2 standards need not be addressed at present. However, should plaintiff amend her complaint, any Metro 2 claims should be “substantiate[d] … with much more specific allegations” and controlling authority. Mestayer v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., No. 15-cv-03645-EMC, 2016 WL 7188015, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2016).