United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. ROSS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant RAC Acceptance East,
LLC's Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 21). The motion is
fully briefed and ready for disposition.
brings this action for violations of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§
1681, et seq., against four defendants: credit reporting
agencies Equifax Information Services, LLC, and Trans Union,
LLC (collectively referred to as “CRAs”), and
credit information furnishers St. Louis Community Credit
Union and RAC Acceptance East, LLC, d/b/a/ Acceptance Now
(“RAC”) (collectively referred to as
alleges generally that she filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on
May 27, 2015 and received an Order of Discharge from the
Bankruptcy Court on September 17, 2015. (Complaint
(“Compl.”), Doc. No. 1 at ¶¶ 9-10). On
August 30, 2017, Plaintiff obtained her Equifax and Trans
Union credit report and noticed an account listed with RAC
without a notation of bankruptcy discharge. (Id. at
¶ 11). Without this notation, Plaintiff asserts that any
creditor reading her credit report would be misled to believe
that this account is still open and active when in fact, the
account is closed and no longer her obligation. (Id.
at ¶ 12). Plaintiff disputed the credit report in a
letter to Trans Union and Equifax on May 1, 2018, explaining
that the accounts reflected by the “errant trade
lines” were discharged in bankruptcy and attaching the
Order of Discharge. (Id. at ¶¶ 13-14).
Plaintiff received the CRAs' investigation results
showing that the CRAs and the Furnishers “failed or
refused to report the Errant Trade Line with the notation of
bankruptcy discharge.” (Id. at ¶¶
relevant to Defendant RAC, Plaintiff alleges that after being
informed by the CRAs that she disputed the accuracy of the
credit reporting, RAC negligently and willfully “failed
to conduct a proper investigation of Plaintiff's
dispute”; negligently and willfully “failed to
review all relevant information available to it and provided
by [the CRAs] in conducting its reinvestigation”; and
negligently and willfully “failed to direct [the CRAs]
to report the notation of bankruptcy discharge on the Errant
Trade Line, ” all as required by 15 U.S.C. §
1681s-2(b). (Id. at ¶¶ 20-21; 27-28).
Plaintiff alleges that as a result of RAC's actions, she
has suffered damages, mental anguish, and incurred
on Kaestner v. Diversified Consultants, Inc., No.
4:17-CV-2607 CAS, 2018 WL 465786, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 17,
2018), RAC moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims against it
for failure to state a claim. RAC argues that Plaintiff's
factual allegations are so threadbare and conclusory that RAC
cannot discern the improper conduct in which it allegedly
engaged and to meaningfully contest it. Specifically, RAC
maintains that the complaint contains no details or facts
about what RAC did or communicated in response to the
purported communication from the CRAs (Doc. No. 22 at 5-6),
and no facts regarding the information allegedly provided by
the CRAs to RAC, or what RAC allegedly did in response
(id. at 6-7).
responds that federal pleading standards do not require her
to plead the level of specificity RAC is suggesting and that
she has pled sufficient facts to support a plausible claim
for relief against RAC pursuant to Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). (Doc. No. 26 at 4).
Plaintiff argues that no consumer could plead facts regarding
the communications between a CRA and a furnisher or the
details of a furnisher's investigative practices with the
specificity sought by RAC before engaging in discovery.
Alternatively, Plaintiff requests leave to amend her
complaint. (Id. at 7).
replies that under Twombly and Iqbal,
Plaintiff must make a plausible FCRA claim before
seeking discovery and that here, Plaintiff is merely
restating the elements of her claim in a conclusory fashion.
(Doc. No. 28 at 2).
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court assumes all facts
alleged in the complaint are true, and liberally construes
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th
Cir. 2008). The purpose of a motion to dismiss under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is to test the legal
sufficiency of the complaint. An action fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555, 570. A claim is facially plausible if it allows the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
conduct alleged. See Horras v. Am. Capital Strategies,
Ltd., 729 F.3d 798, 801 (8th Cir. 2013); Braden v.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir.
2009). “Threadbare” recitations of the elements
of a claim supported only by “conclusory
statements” will not suffice. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). Rather, a
plaintiff must allege some facts to raise the allegation
above the level of mere speculation. Id.
ruling upon a motion to dismiss, “matters outside the
pleadings are not to be considered, while attachments to the
pleadings can be.” Kehoe v. Wal-Mart Stores E.,
LP, No. 4:08CV991 HEA, 2009 WL 57143, at *2 (E.D. Mo.
Jan. 9, 2009). However, documents “necessarily embraced
by the complaint” are not matters outside the pleading.
Enervations, Inc. v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg.
Co., 380 F.3d 1066, 1069 (8th Cir. 2004).
FCRA, if a consumer notifies a consumer reporting agency of a
dispute regarding the completeness or accuracy of information
contained in the consumer's credit report, the CRA is
required to reinvestigate the disputed information.
Id. § 1681i(a). As part of its reinvestigation,
the CRA must notify the furnisher of the credit information
of the dispute. Id. § 1681i(a)(2). Upon notice
of a dispute from a CRA, § 1681s-2(b)(1) requires the
furnisher of the information to conduct an investigation
regarding the dispute and report its findings accordingly.
Section 1681o of the FCRA provides consumers with a cause of
action for negligent ...