America’s Credit Unions: FCRA designed for factual, not legal disputes


The Fair Credit Reporting Act is meant to resolve factual disputes not legal disputes, America’s Credit Unions wrote in an amicus brief filed in the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Monday in Ritz v. Nissan.

The plaintiffs attempted to end a lease agreement without scheduling an appointment for lease-end paperwork, resulting in an additional monthly charge the plaintiffs refused to pay, leading to the dealer to accurately report a delinquency to the credit reporting agencies.

The plaintiffs allege this is a violation of the FCRA. The CFPB and Federal Trade Commission filed a brief in February arguing the FCRA requires furnishers to conduct a “reasonable” investigation when they receive an indirect dispute, regardless of the underlying nature of the dispute. 

America’s Credit Unions believes this interpretation “recognizes no objective limit to the investigative duties of furnishers” and will cause significant and unwarranted harm to credit unions.

“This Court need not craft an atextual ‘exemption’ from the FCRA for legal disputes. While some courts have attempted to navigate a dichotomy between ‘legal’ disputes and ‘factual’ disputes, the FCRA is better understood to only require investigation of disputes about the accuracy of reported agreement terms and consumer performance that can be objectively verified,” the brief reads. “This interpretation is also supported by the statute’s text, structure, purpose, and history.”

America’s Credit Unions’ legacy organizations have filed briefs in similar cases around the country clarifying the FCRA requires furnishers and CRAs to investigate and remove factually inaccurate information, but not to correctly resolve all legal disputes regarding a debt.

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