United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
C. Mullen United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Fairville
Company's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 46) and
Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 50). Replies were due
by January 10, 2017 and none were filed.
2006, Plaintiff, and her husband, Anthony Goble, who is not a
party, obtained a 39 month installment loan from Fairville to
purchase a used 2002 Freightliner TI20664 ST Tractor. The
first payment was due July 1, 2006, with monthly payments due
on the first day of each month thereafter. As early as
September, 2006, her loan was delinquent with a first payment
default, and the truck was uninsured. The truck was secured
on September 27, 2006 and sold shortly thereafter, leaving a
balance due of $46, 983. (Maxton Decl. Ex. A at 148).
Fairville furnished this information to Equifax in 2006.
and her husband filed a joint bankruptcy petition on December
10, 2007, in the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of
North Carolina, No. 07-51158. (Def. Ex. 2). Plaintiff's
Petition scheduled the Fairville deficiency balance as an
undisputed unsecured debt, along with approximately 54 other
outstanding unsecured debts, totaling $133, 893.02. By letter
dated April 14, 2013, Plaintiff notified Equifax that her
debt to Fairville had been discharged in bankruptcy and
requested that Equifax properly note a zero ($0) balance.
(Def. Ex. 3).
records indicate that on July 22, 2013, it received a letter
dated July 15, 2013, from Gourley and Gourley, P.A., advising
Equifax of errors in Plaintiff's credit report. (Munson
Decl. Ex. B). That letter states: “Pursuant to the Fair
Credit Reporting Act…we specifically request that the
[Fairville] account trade lines be modified permanently to
reflect (1) Account Balance of $0 (2) Discharged in
Bankruptcy.” An internal Equifax “maintenance
sheet” dated July 23, 2013 shows that the Fairville
account was updated to show that it was “included in
bankruptcy.” (Munson Decl. Ex. B).
November 7, 2013, Plaintiff sent a certified letter to
Equifax and asked that Equifax “update the subject
credit file(s) to reflect the discharged status of the
debts.” The letter disputes “the extent any of
the discharged debts are reporting anything other than a
‘0' balance.” (Def. Ex. 10).
April 5, 2014, Plaintiff submitted an online dispute to
Equifax regarding the Fairville account to “verify the
account descriptions shown on [her Fairville] account.”
(Def. Ex. 15).
8, 2014 Plaintiff mailed a letter to Equifax disputing the
Fairville account reporting balance of $46, 983 and amount
past due of $45, 539, and advising they both needed to be
corrected to show a Zero ($0) balance. This letter was
received by Equifax June 14, 2014. (Munson Decl. Ex. D). On,
June 23, 2014, Equifax sent an automatic credit dispute
verification form (“ACDV”) to CSC
Logic (“CSC”) using the e-OSCAR
system, notifying CSC of Plaintiff's dispute regarding
the Fairville account information. (Evans Decl. ¶ 5). A
copy of the ACDV produced by Equifax lists the date as June
23, 2014. (Munson Decl. Ex. C). CSC served a response to this
ACDV on or about June 24, 2014. (Id. ¶ 6, Ex.
B). Fairville has produced a draft of this response that was
provided by CSC, indicating that it had updated
Plaintiff's account to reflect a balance of $0 and an
amount past due of $0 (Maxton Decl. Ex. C). The copy of the
ACDV produced by Equifax includes CSC's response,
reflecting that the balance had been updated to $0 and that
the account had been listed as closed (Munson Decl. Ex. C).
filed a complaint against Fairville Company, LP
(“Fairville”), Equifax Information Services, LLC
(“Equifax”), and Telco Community Credit Union
(“Telco”), in this Court on August 7, 2015. (Doc.
No. 1) In it, she alleged violations of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act and North Carolina's Unfair and Deceptive
Trade Practices Act (“UDTPA”). (Id. at
7-17, ¶¶ 92-111). During the discovery period,
Plaintiff signed confidential settlement agreements with
Equifax and Telco and agreed to dismiss her claims against
them with prejudice. (Response in Opposition at 2-3, Doc. No.
37; Joint Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice, Doc. No. 30;
Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice, Doc. No. 38).
this point what remains is Plaintiff's claims against
Fairville for (1) violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act
and (2) violations of UDTPA. Fairville has filed a motion for
summary judgment for both of these claims.
Standard of Review
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute is genuine “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
“The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence”
in support of the non-movant's position is not sufficient
to establish a genuine dispute. Id. at 252. A
material fact affects the outcome of the suit under the
applicable substantive law. See Id. at 248. When
determining whether a dispute is genuine or a fact is
material, courts are required to view the facts and draw
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
party opposing the summary judgment motion. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007). The Court “may
not make credibility determinations or weigh the
evidence.” Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods.,
Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000). Unsupported speculation,
however, is insufficient to defeat a motion for summary
judgment. Evans v. Techs. Applications & Serv.
Co., 80 F.3d 954, 960 (4th Cir. 1996).