United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. BRASHER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the court on Defendant Trans Union
LLC's Motion to Dismiss the Complaint (Doc. 14). Upon
consideration, the motion is GRANTED, and
the Complaint is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
Tomika Walker filed this suit against Trans Union, LLC
(“Trans Union”) and Ashro, Inc.
(“Ashro”) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
background of the suit is straightforward. In 2013, Plaintiff
opened a revolving charge account with Ashro. (Doc. 1 ¶
7). In 2014, Plaintiff filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition
in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District
of Alabama, Docket Number 14-30990. On July 30, 2014,
Plaintiff successfully received her Chapter 7 discharge
order, which included the debt from the Ashro account.
Id. ¶ 9.
point afterwards, Plaintiff submitted dispute correspondence
to Trans Union, alleging that the Ashro account was
inaccurately depicted on her credit file. Specifically,
Plaintiff argued that her credit file should show that the
Ashro account was “discharged” in bankruptcy.
(Doc. 1 ¶¶ 13-14). Instead, the file shows that
Plaintiff generally filed for bankruptcy and received a
discharge. It also shows that the Ashro account is
“included in bankruptcy, ” that it was closed in
2014, and that is has zero balance.
following are depictions of the relevant portions of
Plaintiff's Trans Union credit report (Doc. 14-3 &
brought claims against Trans Union under 15 U.S.C.
§§ 1681e(b) and 1681i. (Doc. 1 ¶¶ 30-31,
37-38). Section 1681e(b) requires Plaintiff to plead that:
(1) Trans Union published an inaccurate consumer report to a
third party; (2) Trans Union failed to follow reasonable
procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of its
reports; and (3) Trans Union's failure to follow
reasonable procedures caused actual damages to the consumer.
See, e.g., Ray v. Equifax Info. Servs., LLC, 327
Fed.Appx. 819, 826 (11th Cir. 2009). Section 1681i requires
Plaintiff to plead that: (1) her consumer file contains
inaccurate or incomplete information; (2) Plaintiff notified
Trans Union of the alleged inaccuracy; (3) the dispute is not
frivolous or irrelevant; (4) Trans Union failed to respond or
conduct a reasonable reinvestigation of the disputed item(s);
and (5) Plaintiff sustained damages that were caused by Trans
Union. See, e.g., Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Servs.,
LLC, 629 F.3d 876, 891 (9th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff and
Ashro jointly moved to dismiss her claims against it. (Doc.
Union filed a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
(Doc. 14). Trans Union argues that the depiction of the Ashro
account in Plaintiff's credit file is not inaccurate or
misleading, which is an element of both of Plaintiff's
claims. In response, Plaintiff argues that the depiction is
inaccurate and misleading because it does not specify that
the Ashro account was discharged in her bankruptcy.
court concludes that, as a matter of law, Plaintiff cannot
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under either
15 U.S.C. § 1681e(b) or 15 U.S.C. § 1681i. To
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“[C]onclusory allegations, unwarranted deductions of
facts or legal conclusions masquerading as facts will not
prevent dismissal.” Oxford Asset Mgmt. v.
Jaharis, 297 F.3d 1182, 1188 (11th Cir. 2002).
undisputed that an essential element of each of
Plaintiff's claims against Trans Union is that the Ashro
account on Plaintiff's credit file be inaccurate or
misleading. But Plaintiff has not, and cannot, allege facts
sufficient to establish that element. This is so for at least
there is nothing false or inaccurate about Trans Union's
reporting of Plaintiff's Ashro account on the face of the
report. The credit file reflects that Plaintiff filed for
Chapter 7 bankruptcy and received a discharge. The Ashro
account states as the “pay status” “account
included in bankruptcy.” It includes as a
“remark” “Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.” It
lists the account balance as zero and says the account was
closed in 2014. The credit file neither suggests that the