Cases & Deals

Experian secures appellate victory in Fair Credit Reporting Act appeal

Client(s) Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Jones Day assisted Experian Information Services, Inc. ("Experian") in securing an appellate victory from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in an action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Colorado Consumer Credit Reporting Act (CCCRA). On November 10, 2015, the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion, holding that Experian and another credit report agency acted reasonably in reporting and reinvestigating a notice of federal tax lien reported on the plaintiff's credit report.

The dispute in Wright v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. originated from a Notice of Federal Tax Lien filed by the IRS with the Pitkin County, Colorado Recorder in May 2009. The plaintiff in the dispute sent letters to the CRAs claiming that the lien was incorrectly attributed to him in his personal capacity. The CRAs investigated the dispute, and sent the results to the plaintiff, who followed up with a second (identical) dispute of the lien to which the CRAs also responded. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the CRAs in 2012, alleging negligent and willful violations of the FCRA and CCCRA. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the CRAs.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment, holding that the CRAs acted reasonably in relying on information from a third-party vendor to report the tax lien on plaintiff's credit report. Furthermore, the court agreed with the district court that the CRAs acted reasonably in reinvestigating the disputed information on plaintiff’s credit report, because "[a] reasonable reinvestigation . . . does not require CRAs to resolve legal disputes about the validity of the underlying debts they report."

Wright v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., No. 14-1371 (10th Cir.)