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Tidwell v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

February 13, 2018

JAMES BRIAN TIDWELL, Plaintiff,
v.
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          GRAY M BORDEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), this case was referred to the United States Magistrate Judge for review and submission of a report with recommended findings of fact and conclusions of law. Doc. 18. Plaintiff James Brian Tidwell filed this lawsuit on October 11, 2017, alleging several improprieties in connection with his credit reports. Doc. 1. Now before the court is the motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Bank of America, N.A. (“BoA”). Doc. 24. After careful consideration of the parties' submissions and the applicable law, the undersigned recommends that the motion to dismiss (Doc. 24) be GRANTED.

         I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

         The court has subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims in this action pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1692k(d) and 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The parties do not contest personal jurisdiction or venue, and the court finds adequate allegations to support both.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The following is a recitation of the facts as alleged in the complaint. Tidwell is a resident of Lee County, Florida. Doc. 1 at 3. On August 21, 2017, Tidwell obtained a credit report from Defendant TransUnion, LLC (“TransUnion”), which contained information compiled by TransUnion and Defendants Equifax and Experian, all of which are credit reporting agencies. Doc. 1 at 4. The report listed five BoA accounts that, according to Tidwell, were included on the report in error because they were not his accounts:

1. BoA I (opened on December 1, 2005). Equifax and Experian reported an original balance of $343, 200 for this account, which Tidwell disputed with Equifax, Experian, and BoA a total of 22 times between 2014 and 2017;
2. BoA II (opened on December 1, 2005). Equifax listed an original balance of $64, 350 and Experian listed an outstanding balance of $94, 150, which Tidwell disputed with Equifax, Experian, and BoA 22 times between 2014 and 2017;
3. BoA III (opened in August 2004), for which TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian reported an outstanding balance of $84, 537, which Tidwell disputed seven times between January 2015 and 2017;
4. BoA IV (opened in August 2004), for which TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian listed an original balance of $248, 928, which Tidwell disputed seven times beginning in January 2015; and
5. BoA Revolving (opened in July 2004), which TransUnion and Equifax reported as an open account with a limit of $8, 600.

         Doc. 1 at 5-7. Despite Tidwell's attempts to dispute these accounts, the defendants continued to report that the balances held on these accounts were “due and payable, rather than reflecting that such accounts are either inaccurate and/or not held” by him. Doc. 1 at 9. These inaccuracies were intentional, willful, and malicious, and have been perpetuated in an attempt to “force or coerce [Tidwell] into paying a debt that he has repeatedly disputed as not his.” Doc. 1 at 9.

         The inaccuracies and resulting damage to Tidwell's credit rating has caused him to suffer “severe mental distress, mental and physical pain, embarrassment, and humiliation.” Doc. 1 at 10. Tidwell also has been limited in his ability to borrow and purchase. Doc. 1 at 10. As a result, Tidwell has alleged three separate violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) against BoA: one claim pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) for “willfully and/or negligently failing, in the preparation of the consumer reports concerning [Tidwell], to follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information in the reports”; one claim pursuant to § 1681i for failing to comply with that provision's reinvestigation procedures; and one claim pursuant to § 1681s-2 for reporting information BoA knew to be inaccurate or incomplete. Doc. 1 at 11.

         III. ...


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